Social Media can be as antisocial at times as it can be disruptive. Used as a broadcast channel, it becomes just another firehose spitting brand marketing messages to aim at the world. Bought Likes, fake +1s and bot Twitter followers frequently create a world where the word “social” stands for marketing that’s as sleek and distant as anything we saw practiced in the century we left behind.
Disruption, however, is happening. By degrees, every industry is changing. Public Relations firms are losing their clout. Publicity companies are struggling to help their clients be heard. The reason behind it all lies in authenticity and the sense of trust demanded by an audience that is no longer willing to accept pre-packaged messages and polished slogans. The change is making itself felt in many other quarters as well.
Sales are no longer driven by advertising quite the way they used to be in the past. Product reviews and promotions no longer quite work. And advertising budgets are no longer quite large enough to deliver the level of market share that companies and brands used to enjoy back in the 20th century.
The difference, of course, is us. Consumers. Empowered, mobile, well-informed and vocal, we no longer want to deal with an “image” or a “message” created just so that we can be “managed” better. We demand authenticity and a sense of personal connection before we part with our spending dollars, and that is what is driving change across every business today.
To deal with these topics and more, a new Social Media Today Power Talk Hangout-On-Air (HOA) over at Google+ will be held on 12th February at 12:00pm, EST. Hosted by yours truly with special guests Steve Martin and Alex Cote, it will look at the human factor that drives so much social media success, and the absence of which is behind some of its most spectacular failures.
Public Relations expert Steve Martin brings a wealth of experience in an industry that’s struggling to adapt to a world where, one could argue, its services do more harm than good. Alex Cote is with Cloze.com, and he will be helping us explore the human passion, work, sweat and tears that go into taking a startup from conception to launch. Bonus: there is a very human story to how these two gentlemen met, which you'll hear all about if you join us.
At 45 minutes long, we will be providing answers to some of the burning questions you have on social media marketing and the authenticity it demands. Join us over at the Social Media Today Event, and while you're at it think about jolining the Social Media Today G+ page too. (If you have other obligations, not to worry: we'll be reposting the whole talk on SMT.)
Hangout on Air (shutterstock)