Use Social Networks Correctly

Terrific advice from Augustine Fou of the The ClickZ Network:

  • Don’t treat social networks as media buys. CPM-based banner ads on social networks don’t work. Even CPC-based advertising is of limited usefulness, because the ads distract and annoy people who are there to socialize with friends.
  • Get your product or service into the hands of active socializers. If the product or service is truly awesome and useful, socializers are likely to recommend it to friends for whom they think it will be useful. They earn social capital by doing so, and you don’t even need to bribe them. Just encourage them to review and discuss it after they have experienced it: “what did you think about the product after using it?”
  • Set up listening posts on social networks. A brand fan page on Facebook with flowery outbound brand messages isn’t enough. Adding a discussion board and review mechanism enables actual product users to give you direct, immediate feedback and discuss it objectively in a way visible to you (archived discussions) for real-time research and insights. The inclusion of both positive and negative reviews is crucial to the content’s trustability, so don’t delete the negative comments and reviews. Users expect and rely on objective analyses by their peers, uncensored by advertisers. If they smell foul play, they’ll never come back.
  • Make recommendations easy and the distance to commerce short. If consumers are proud enough to want to show off your product or recommend it, make it easy for them to do so through apps like MyFaveThings. And make purchase no more than one click away, to take advantage of the “I’ll just buy what he bought” impulse.