That’s the headline of a great column by Ad Age columnist and NPR host Bob Garfield. Here’s an excerpt:
Yes, we are all in business with transactions in mind. Yes, more transactions are almost always better than fewer transactions. Yes, we hope our social media efforts — like everything else we do — will be followed by more people purchasing our goods and services. Indeed, if you succeed in forging relationships with your various constituencies, and you are open and honest and share (i.e., in both directions) compelling and relevant stuff, loyalty and trust will grow and from that will flow more business at lowers acquisition costs.
But if you are cultivating community and conversation for the purpose of corralling cattle into the slaughterhouse, you are not engaging in a social strategy. You are engaging in a sales strategy, which is pretty close to the antithesis of social marketing. We are in the Relationship Era. This is no time for manipulation.