Why Social Media Marketing?

People

Affable rogue Willie Sutton revealed to a reporter why he robbed banks:

“Because that’s where the money is.”

Likewise… it’s people who buy stuff.

Smart marketers participate in social media because that’s where the people are.

It’s not larceny, but it’s also not complicated.

And yet, social media marketing and bank robbery have things in common.

You’ve got to be daring, innovative, and most of all, effective.

That’s apparently where things get complicated.

Why not stop debating the premise and start fixing the problem?

About the Author: Brian Clark is the founder of Copyblogger and co-founder of DIY Themes, creator of the innovative Thesis Theme for WordPress. Get more from Brian on Twitter.

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Comments

  1. That’s the shortest post I’ve ever read here! I guess when you’re as right as you are, why mince words? Plus, it saved me time to comment. :)

  2. Ya.. ur right, and Gary Halbert had said that once in one of his newsletter, “that’s where the money is” is the same as “you should put your money where your customers are.”
    Cos they are the people who is going to buy rapidly from you…

  3. Brian, I think you’re brilliant in your simplicity.

  4. What, exactly, is the problem?

  5. Michael, the problem is how to market effectively. Maybe not a problem for you, but have you looked around lately? :)

  6. I marvel at the timing of social media – right when people are losing their jobs, a networking technology for the masses evolves. I wish I could spend more time tweeting and blogging. Its a great medium for networking, both on- and off-line.

  7. Flint: I think there’s even more exciting stuff to come from Social Media, too. It’s just begun.

  8. Why social media? Because it’s “real people” interacting with “real people”.

    People are more and more wanting to connect with a real person on the other end.

    Sure it’s a touch of voyeurism for sure that was behind MySpace/Facebook/YouTube/Twitter growing so fast, but at the end of the day people trust and bond with real people. they don’t just want a faceless brand anymore, they want to know who’s behind it, the real people.

    And that’s why it’s effective for those brands that dare to be real and show what’s behind the curtain.

    Overall, from a societal / cultural standpoint, the increasted transparency this will force will be great for everyone… what’s that old saying… “sunlight is the best disinfectant”.

    Have an awesome day!
    Dan (Ask Dan & Jennifer)

  9. Great post. I love the simplicity. When what you are saying is right you don’t need to spend alot of time explaining it.

    Doug

  10. I think it’s tough for some people to stop debating and start doing because SMM is far more demanding than most people and organizations are prepared for. You know how intense and nail-biting it can be. The effectiveness of one’s efforts (or lack of) is brutally obvious for the world to see. It’s way too much pressure for most people to handle, so it’s easier to stick with observing and discussing.

    As much as I enjoy the gun-to-the-head creativity and “bank robbery” aspect of SMM – I completely understand why a lot of people are terrified and need professional help understanding or implementing it.

  11. Yes Social marketing is a great way to meet people from all over the country and world. I like it because when you have to spend your day in a wheelchair all day and can not walk, you get to talk to a lot of people. Keep SMILING

  12. Sometimes the essence is truly captured in the simplicity of execution! Social media is here to stay and with the right strategy will pay big dividends!

  13. @Brett, I think, though, that a lot of companies approach SMM with the idea of immediately creating the kind of reach they would with mass advertising. (And yet not wanting to pay anything like the money they would with mass advertising.) Those folks need and should get competent help, because they want to jump ahead three or four steps.

    But for a solo business, say a blogger who wants to turn her passion for her blog into a way to support herself, one of the great things about social media is that ability to start very small. To create a little list of 50 or 100 absolutely rock-loyal customers, then build from there.

    That ability to start at a more intimate, human scale gives the solopreneur a huge advantage, imo.

  14. Thanks for getting straight to the point!

  15. Well it is smart to go anywhere where the people are. You just have to hope that they are interested in the same thing you are promoting. Social media is good because it makes it easier to find those people that are interested in what you were promoting or just your web site. Even though it was a short post it was a good one.

  16. … “not complicated”? Good, then explain it to me. Without assuming I know so much about the subject when you do.

  17. Ernie, the part that’s not complicated I just explained. Social media is where the people are, so that’s where you want to market.

    For the part that’s complicated, I’ve got three years worth of articles that address that in the archives. Feel free to start reading. :)

  18. Ahh, finally a short and sweet post. You make a good point, Brian.

    What more could we ask for than free, wide-open venues to engage in meaningful conversations with our market?

    Social media is awesome. Anyone who rejects it at this point is a heretic.

  19. I’m a convert. As of two weeks ago.

  20. Short and sweet. It is so important to remember that you’re marketing to people…always. So to be an effective marketer you must be where your people are.

  21. I’ve only recently started to concentrate on social media for marketing using twitter (which is how I came here!) and your right the trick is to be effective. I’m concentrating on Twitter – don’t want to spread myself too thinly!

  22. I’m new to social media and learning all I can how about how to do it “right” from experts like you. I’m already sick and tired of people rolling their eyes when I mention blogging… But, I’m excited about the opportunity to practice the “art” of social media and figuring out how, when and who should be using it in their marketing strategy. Thank you to those of you who’ve already mastered it for the continual supply of insight and resources!

  23. I think people are still fairly impressed and surprised by social media, which is still “relatively new.” Many people try to exploit it for marketing but I’m wondering why not spend more time with the “social” and less with the “media”?

  24. Works for me. :)

  25. Very direct and to the point. I guess I wouldn’t liken social media marketing to bank robbing (not exactly anyway) because to be a bank robber you also must possess the qualities of disregard for others, recklessness, and unaffected by the consequences. I don’t think social media marketers have those qualities …. well, I guess some of them might … so maybe it is like bank robbing and I just didn’t realize it? Maybe we are all unscrupulous and I just was in dark about it until now?

  26. Great insight and advice as usual.

  27. is this a blog post or a tweet? too short:)

  28. As a consultant, I see the value of providing an online experience. Social media is a great example of an interactive digital medium with real power, provided you know how to use it. For the average small business, effectively navigating social media is largely about understanding Generation Y. Please see my review of Millennials and social media.

    http://thegreenmarket.blogspot.com/2009/05/power-of-social-media-and-importance-of.html

    See also the ways in which social media and sustainability are aligned.

    http://thegreenmarket.blogspot.com/2009/05/social-media-and-sustainability.html

  29. I totally agree with you Dan (from Dan and Jennifer’s comment above)- when you’re not afraid to be yourself, you give people something to react to, a reason to care!

    From there- you can build rapport, and then business. That’s the beauty of social media- connecting you to real people, with hearts and minds- making an impact one person at a time.

  30. If your referring to Twitter, I honestly don’t get it?

    I love participating in forums and posting on blogs. I am amazed at how small the World Wide Web can be sometimes.

    Recently I posted something about ClickBank in a forum and the next day I received a call from a stranger in my hometown about the post.

    This is a great topic.

  31. There is money in Ft. Knox too, but robbers don’t go there, do they? While I agree social media has great potential, targeting it just because people are there is short-sighted. Do your customers live there? Better answer that question first. I’ve seen several social media marketing campaigns that really missed the mark because target customers weren’t there. Marketing 101, I know, but social media seems to make marketers do silly things these days.

  32. I guess my problem is that I’m afraid to be myself. It is odd, though, I’m a cartoonists and a writer, so I am always expressing my ideas. I started a caption contest on my site – I offer $10 each week to the winner. I use Twitter a few times a week, but I come off in an awkward manner (at least to me). I also don’t want to come across as a shameless self-promoter. If you’re on the shy side, how do you get started using Twitter? (It seems everyone else is already traveling in the express lane.)

  33. @SplendidMarbles, stick around. (And poke through the archives.) We have tons and tons of content on how to put yourself forward without looking or feeling like a jerk.

    I really do need to do a Twitter post. I’ve hesitated because there are already so many good ones here, but I Do Have Things to Say.

  34. Hi Brian, thanks for the post. I’m a relatively new blogger – I have a personal development blog that is 5 months old. I like SMM and I believe it has great potential, but the challenge for me is it’s too decentralized. This gets played as a double edged sword – on one hand, there’s pretty much zero barriers to entry for any new blogger wanting to connect with the world. On the other hand, there’s this situation where there’s so many web owners/bloggers trying to spam their way through these SMM than actual visitors reading them.

    I’m very sure there are actual human visitors on these SMM, but I’ve found it to be pretty hard to reach out to them unless I already have that critical mass/scale. I invested quite a large portion of my efforts on SMM in the first few months and found that most of the traffic from SMM were just one off visitors who surf just 1 page and bounce.

    Instead, my experiments with other mediums (e.g., press coverage in newspapers, facebook advertising and advertising in a related blog) proved to be much more rewarding. Because of this, I’m changing my strategy to focus more on other channels for now. I would love any alternating viewpoints on this.

  35. Brian, are you twittifying your blog posts now? :)

  36. I’m no longer debating, but I am struggling.

    I love Twitter because there is no spam. I can follow and unfollow in a heartbeat. But I’m a long way from mastering every tweet deck.

    I always feel like I’m fighting an interface on facebook (can’t even retrieve my password there at the moment.

    It seems every time I look at my email I’ve got another invitation to something social media-like.

    I’m glad to be so popular, but I have to be strict with myself not to drop into a terrible time sink.

    But I am getting there ;)

  37. Thanks, Sonia. I will scour through the archives. I REALLY do have a lot to say; I can write commentary on my site without too much trouble. I just have to get comfortable with getting my thoughts together in a more concise manner. Thanks again.

  38. It works!

  39. Thanks, Brian. I’ve been trying to explain this to clients for months now and you’ve given me a concise way to do so.

  40. I agree Brian. Why wouldn’t you want to go where the people are? Plus, wouldn’t you want to have a small band of loyalists then a massive spread of people who may not even like your product.
    People just don’t want to pay for the people who know and understand the networks and why they work. They don’t want the time investment or they don’t understand it so they are scared of the new communications model.

  41. This website give me more knowledge about internet marketing. Thank you Brian Clark.. =)

  42. Social Media Marketing, if done correctly can do wonders to your marketing strategy. But at the same time, social media also has the tendency of eating out on your valuable time because there is so much of distractions in there. So if you are not cautious about this and don’t follow a set plan of marketing, then the same social media could ruin you as well.

  43. No dot com business would survive without using social media

  44. I really like this post! I’ll translate to Indonesian for my blog’s readers.
    Thanks Brian!

  45. I could wallpaer the Great Wall with rejection slips for every acceptance I have recieved. Many writers plug away daily creating works that are read by few. Then you give the answer with the simple advise to go where the people are.

    Thanks Sid

  46. Brian, I think you’re brilliant in your simplicity.

  47. I love this piece :)

  48. I am writting and MBA dissertation on “the effectiveness of social media in marketing for SMEs”. Does anybody have any hard data, research that proves how effective it is?

  49. Good post, very short but too the point. Probably would have liked a bit more depth to it – maybe there should be a part 2 to this post.