When you start your car in the morning you know from the sound in the first few seconds whether there’s something wrong with it or not. When you’re driving it you can tell if something is wrong with a tyre by the feel from the car as it moves. These things are probably too subtle for someone that doesn’t drive your car. They’ll know the ways of their own car, not yours.
It’s being able to feel those subtle things that separates the amateur from the experienced person and it’s subtley that’s needed when you’re trying to market to people online, on social networks and everywhere else where the flocks are a a-flocking to these days. It comes as no surprise that the Web 2.0 consultants of last year, who previous to this were probably mobile web consultants and wap consultants are now telling companies how to market to the Facebook generation without getting the feel of them. They’re now rebranding themselves as social media consultants by the way though they’re fecked if they can actually explain it without using buzzwords.
Chris Brogan is a great “brand”, he writes some great stuff but his latest blog post has led me to unsubscribe from him. In it he gives nine ways to promote your blog posts. 9 ways of pissing off people to varying degrees. Oldschool marketing at its very worst. Quantity not quality. Engagement does not mean harassing. It’s online chugging.
Automated Twitter posts when you create a new blog post, FriendFeed silo crapola, LinkedIn status changes advertising a new blog post etc. The one that’s truly insidious is where he says leave “constructive comments” on blog posts that are relevant to your own post and change your website address to be the one of your blog post.
find a recent blog post that has related information. (Now, this is different than what you MIGHT normally do, so pay attention). In the URL part of the sign-up form, put the link to your post, not your blog in general.
A slightly better version of what this joker has been trying. Most blogging platforms don’t have a field for “Blog Post you wish to pimp to readers of this blog” but they do have Website Address, how utterly rude and ignorant to use it to pimp a blog post.
It’s like this. If you have to go and track down blog posts that fit into the same bracket as your latest blog post then you shouldn’t be commenting on those posts should you? If you don’t happen across them or are already subbed to these blogs then you’re just a manual version of the blog spam robots out there. You leave comments on blogs to add to the conversation, not hijack it.
He also suggests “Stumbling” your own posts on Stumbleupon but points out this is rude so go off and stumble a few non-you blog posts and sites and then Stumble your own. Totally against the open philosophy of Stumbleupon and other services. Why not just say “in a conversation about yadda, only whore your business once in every ten sentences”. Sneaky social selling.
This advice is on a par with people that sell links from their blogs or write sham reviews for pay per post or linkbait 15 other bloggers in a post to get adulation or rewrite someone else’s work and tart it up as an ebook which you’ll only receive once you sign up to their newsletter. Big massive, super, extra bonus FAIL.
These gobshites that are all about quantity.
There’s far too many snakeoil salespeople acting as social media consultants that haven’t one iota of how people interact online because they don’t do it themselves. What they do instead is come online, blog themselves up, leave comments going back to blog posts they’re written, tie their blog posts into Twitter and spam people they’ve added there, do the same on Facebook. They don’t interact or engage.
Online marketing does not = Finding New Online Gathering Places + Old Skool Marketing to them
There is no real interaction, there is no hanging around and experiencing the flow of a system. It’s the person that goes “Hi how are you? Great, now let’s talk about hamburgers, do you like hamburgers, well let me show you a new way of cooking them.” You’re a mark to them, you’re a target, you’re a mole that needs to be whacked over the head. They don’t care how you are, the question is just an in to your attention.
Rules and Balance
Then comes a backlash from this bad marketing and businesses think you can’t talk yourself up in these new spaces or self-promote. You can. But there’s a balance or rather an imbalance. People in these spaces act differently. Like every local bar has its own ways and etiquetteso do onlin audiences and like bar to bar it varies from online space to online space. People don’t mind you automating your blog posts in Twitter (well most don’t) once your account is not all about the blog posts and nothing else. You need a mixture. More interactions and less automations but you can have both. Even without automations, letting us know about every blog post you wrote isn’t very nice is it? If your blog is good, we’d be subbed already right?
Recently a company with a blog spammed bloggers via email about something that really was not relevant. The reaction was “but we’re bloggers too” and it wasn’t arrogance it was ignorance. Never was it thought “if we were good bloggers we wouldn’t need to send this by email, we’ve have stuck it on the blog which is well read (since we’re good bloggers) and it would have been picked up and redistributed from there.” While it can be good for discipline, boxes to tick can ruin the fun. Twitter check. Followers check. Arsekissing comments to build rapport and get followers back, check. Spammed followers about eBusiness newsletter, check.
It may seem like more work to start with but if you want to market online in 2008 either spend the time to learn the subtleties or hire crowds that do. Maybe ask those social media folks for links to their Facebook, Twitter, Blog etc and see how they’re using them.