Anti-social media: Finding the balance between timely marketing and TMI
The old adage “familiarity breeds contempt” has new relevance in the world of social media. If you thought you were overwhelmed by email, just wait until you’ve been Facebooked, Tweeted, blogged and otherwise gorged by an onslaught of TMI—just way too much information. What begins as curiosity about what is happening or staying in touch, quickly becomes a communication flood of nightmarish proportions.
We have moved from the information age to the way-too-much information age. In business, I am all about using new ways to communicate with clients and cutting through the clutter. For years, I’ve used LinkedIn as a business tool to refer contacts. At that time, I checked out Facebook, but decided it really wasn’t for me as a social or business tool. I also considered blogging but did’t have the time to commit to it. And, that’s another challenge with social networking—is it the best use of your time?
In some cases the answer is yes. If you are running a business, like my friend and client, Rebecca who is the owner of the Smithton Inn, it is a nice way to give past and future guests a feel for the environment of the Inn, its daily events and the improvements it is undergoing.
Airlines and other business can Tweet the equivalent of their blue-light specials to drive spontaneous sales.
In other enterprises, however, it may not be appropriate or worthwhile. It may even be anti-promotional. Before diving in, you need to evaluate for yourself whether social media is your friend. Ask yourself:
- Am I providing valuable, useful content?
- Am I providing the kind of information people want to know about my business or me?
- How often do they want to hear from me?
- Is my information or offer time critical?
- Can I keep up with the demand of social media on a regular basis?
As with many marketing tools, social media can be misused and abused. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Base your decision to market via social media on its appropriateness for you, rather than following a trend. How carefully you have considered your strategy for adding social media to your marketing arsenal, can mean the difference between lobbing a winning volley and shooting yourself in the foot.