Lately it seems like “Social Media” has become “Social Marketing.” Do a Google search on “Social Media” and many of the links lead to marketing related information. Also, I don’t know about you but a sizable number of business Twitter users seem to be pushing social media marketing. But there are many dimensions to social media. It is, after all, merely a collection of online interactive publishing and interpersonal connection capabilities that can be used for many purposes, including customer care, product development, non-marketing communications…the list goes on. Even if one does focus on the marketing aspects of social media, where and when are the discussions on product strategy occurring? If a key approach for social media communications is being authentic, how does one market a bad product using social media? Do you honestly reveal the shortcomings of your product? To market a product authentically and effectively, does the social media strategy planning need to begin with how to engineer great products, followed by how to market them socially in an effective manner? The answer to both of these questions should be “yes.” To frame this simply, think there is a chain of trust that exists that includes product, users/referrers for the product and purchasing decision-makers. If word of mouth marketing results in a sale to a purchaser who is not subsequently happy with the purchase, the chain of trust is broken. And that break might occur with a poor product or a poor word of mouth referral that doesn’t accurately address the needs of the purchaser. What do you think?
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