You know you're a social media hippy (smippy), when:
- You start or sign a petition to stop Twitter auto-responses… which won't actually do anything to stop Twitter auto-responses.
- You think outsourcing your company blog is some violation of the commandments of blogging.
- You think a company developing a character on social media sites in order to market their product is a failed strategy, even when it results in increased sales and exposure.
- You think blogs should be devoid of advertising, paid links, or sponsored posts and that bloggers should do all of their research and write their blog posts graciously from the goodness of their heart.
(Before you go off in a comment, be sure to read the last section of this post!)
I love smippies, don't get me wrong. I'd like to be one someday – after I've saved up enough money to buy some land in the mountains (with satellite broadband) and a couple quarts of patchouli. Between now and then, though, I need to pay the bills.
My bills get paid when companies have the foresight and courage to take advantage of mediums that result in better ROI and customer satisfaction than anytime in the past. I help them do that, and I won't apologize for it.
Twitter as a Marketing Medium
Guy Kawasaki told Robert Scoble that Twitter might be the greatest PR tool in history. Twitter is evolving.
In recent interviews, founder Evan Williams has already noted that he's more excited about the opportunities of Twitter as a marketing medium than simply a social platform. Twitter is also taking steps to cash in on the success. Take that smippies!
Twitter is a permission-based marketing medium. As such, it provides a perfect opportunity for companies to market themselves how they deem effective. By automating direct responses via Tweetlater and auto-posting my blog posts in Twitterfeed, I've increased the number of subscribers to my blog by 5% and increased daily readership (direct from Twitter) by 8% on average.
If you choose to follow me, you are inherently providing me with permission to communicate with you. Don't get upset when I do. The first thing every company should do is to capitalize on that handshake and directly reply with something nice. If you don't like it? Unfollow! It's that easy.
Social Media Marketing
Smippies should be getting happier, not more upset, about social media marketing. Popups and other intrusive marketing are fading into the sunset. Finally, companies are adapting and seeking to find and connect with consumers where the consumer is – not by dragging the consumer kicking and screaming to them.
Search Engine Marketing is a great example of this. Corporate blogging is becoming an essential exercise for companies, since it's an outstanding means of both retention and acquisition. Consumers are on search engines – that's where companies need to be!
When Companies Strike!
So you've read through everything and you must think I'm some big ‘ol capitalist pig that's advising companies to use every medium it can to manipulate, manipulate, manipulate and sell, sell, sell.
Not the case.
The beautiful thing about social media is that it's finally balanced the playing field. Companies who attempt to abuse the medium will not only fail, they'll be embarrassed. The manipulation and abuse of Twitter, Blogging and Social Media is be met with painful and swift penalties… if not all out disaster.
That's good for everyone! Smippies included.