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Which social media technology matters most?

Guess what? The technology doesn’t matter at all.

Why? It’s the message, not the medium. Here’s what works:

1. Find your fans. Find those people who love to talk about you.

Figure out where they are talking and what they are talking about. Only then should you take a look at the technologies they use. (There’s an old marketing word for this: “Targeting”)

2. Join the conversation. Participate. Get a few people from your company who can talk and act like normal people (marketer ≠ normal people) and have them jump in and become a part of the community. The more you add, the more you’ll get. Always be ethical and open.

Remember, happy customers are your best ads. It’s about the people and their passion — not the product or platform. Find talkative folks, earn their respect, and they will tell their friends to buy your stuff.

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Comments

  1. Marcel LeBrun March 17, 2008 at 1:20 pm #

    Hi Andy,
    Good advice. It is amazing the benefits that companies receive (customer goodwill) by just being part of the conversation where it is already taking place. I have added your feed to my subscriptions.
    Marcel

  2. Angela Maiers March 17, 2008 at 1:23 pm #

    Andy- I could not agree more. I work in education, and many teachers are freaked out about the “technology”. I keep reminding them that it is not about the tech-it is about the talk! Join the conversations! Great post!

  3. AV March 17, 2008 at 1:33 pm #

    Excellent points.

  4. Nick S. March 17, 2008 at 1:44 pm #

    But be careful, Angela. We’ve found that in the field of higher education, most students don’t want their teachers, recruiters, deans, or other university staff to be involved in their online groups. They want the opportunity to express their feelings without worrying about who’s reading them (for better or for worse!). I agree with the overall idea of joining the conversation, but the first rule is to only join where you’re wanted.

  5. PepperDigital March 17, 2008 at 4:37 pm #

    There is an argument for both sides of this coin.
    In Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, Marshall McLuhan said, “The medium is the message,” and sometimes a medium “creates an environment by its mere presence.”
    The medium helps us to understand the message, and get our point across in a way that our audiences will understand and be drawn to, but like Andy mentioned, we must target an audience and understand the message, before choosing a medium.
    Angela, you are right on track. You know the messages you want to get across to your students, based on their age, interests, and tendencies. Whether your pupils like it or not, everyone can see what they are doing online, and in this case, they must understand the medium before marketing themselves, because there are no rules excluding their professors, administrators, parents and grandparents from participating in online conversations.

  6. Connie Reece March 23, 2008 at 8:37 am #

    Andy, I’ve just been invited to be part of a panel on using new tools and technologies to market your business. (This is a local workshop targeted to small business owners, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce.) You’ve just echoed my opening point: the technology is only a means to building relationships with customers. Thanks, as always, for your insight. You’ll be on my list of recommended reading for this group.

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