The Problem in Social Media Marketing

Have you seen the 2010 edition of the Edelman Trust Barometer? I have – and frankly, it has me worried. Specifically the precipitous drop in trust among friends/peers is a concern. I think this drop in trust has three root causes.

In the AdAge article about this, Richard Edelman attributes this drop in trust to a “sign of the times” and I agree that’s a contributing factor, but there is much more to this plunge. I think it’s a direct result of social media marketing. Yes, the mere fact of abusing SM channels (which are p to p conversational channels) with marketing messages causes everyone participating to trust less. Finally, the definition of what a “friend” is has been bastardized by Twitter, FB, etc.

I am a hardliner on “pay-per-post” and “crowds-for-hire” to go out and review things – I just think it is wrong. The term “Sponsored Conversation” is an oxymoron.

I think commercial endorsements (especially outside of their specific field of expertise) are bad for big bloggers, even if it does get them paid. It makes me (and everyone else) think less of them. I don’t think much of “influencer marketing” schemes.

Our business (MotiveQuest) depends on people having real, organic, honest conversations with each other on the web. We collect and analyze these conversations to understand why people do what they do. Our clients pay for these ideas, insights and recommendations to help grow their business. This only works if we don’t WRECK social media by using it to try to sell stuff to people.

Tom O’Brien
@tomob

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4 Responses to The Problem in Social Media Marketing

  1. I never thought I would agree with this opinion, but I’m starting to see things differently.

  2. […] Read more here: The Problem in Social Media Marketing « A Human Voice […]

  3. David Hall says:

    This is an interesting take on things, thanks for promoting responsible marketing…hopefully people start to catch on.

  4. ecairn says:

    Thanks for the article.
    I think this mainly comes from marketer managing social media as “one huge channel” and spamming it instead of approaching it as a myriad of communities.

    It’s great for a brand to dialog with its core communities in facebook or blogs. They are part of the eco system and should initiate conversations and learn.
    What’s not so great is when brands or individual go for 100 000’s of friends or follower and spam the entire system.
    Best

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