After The Social Media Marketing Sugar High


Candy cane The holidays are a time for indulgences and that often include eating more sweets than usual. Scattered energies run high, feeling great for the moment and then a sudden sugar crash the next.

While watching the kids play I thought .. how many of us find that our social media initiatives are like sugar highs? The excitement of the new idea, the buzz of the launch, followed by some engagement and then the candy cane C-R-A-S-H!

Too often social media marketing (or traditional marketing for that matter) strategies are also like white elephant gifts. Your customers don't really want them but you feel the need to develop them because .. well it's what marketing is all about.

It can be a big disappointment for both you and your customers after the sparking tinsel and pretty wrapping is ripped away and the batteries included were forgotten. As with presents that don't really "fit" other gifts take priority and yours is soon forgotten.

I begin to wonder .. what would happen if .. marketers viewed developing social media marketing programs as gifts that fit that we create for our customers all year long? Those gifts that would help bring us closer to understanding each other to build stronger digital relationships, to having fun with each other with less candy cane C-R-A-S-H!

If social media marketing is a new way to listen and communicate with our customers then framing strategies as gifts that fit may be one way to conceptualize new tactics. Can marketing VIPS really think first of what would delight customers and then develop the message and strategy? Of course girlfriend, it's called Marketing 101! 

6 Tips For Creating Social Media Marketing Gifts That Fit

1. Understand what your customers want and need. Listen and participate in their conversations on blogs, Twitter, social networks, etc. Michael Fruchter's post Ten Tools for Listen is a great way to get started.

2. Set a budget. Understanding financial limitations is important but becomes critical in a down economy. Be creative. Perhaps it's a community on Ning and not one developed from the ground up.

3. Plan. Take time to understand how all of the moving parts will fit together to support other "gifts" that you've developed previously. Is it a new video that is incorporated into the widget you built last year? Who will be involved? If your program crosses silos bring all the players - yes including the lawyers - into a round table discussion.

4. Presentation. Part of the fun of presents is unwrapping the gifts. Consider how you will launch your new initiative that will add to the excitement.

5. Be prepared to fix or exchange if necessary. Monitor the progress of the program. What do you need to incorporate to make it "fit" perfectly? Sometimes even the best gift breaks. As part of your Plan (see #3) build in a support effort.

6. Build an initiative for feedback.Help your customers continue the convePeppermint cheesecakersation with you.

What are your thoughts? Have I indulged in too many brownies and too much peppermint cheese cake? 


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Funny post, I love the comparison with the candy. I would also add the capacity/possibility of quickly correcting/adjusting your present according to the feedbacks of your customers.

Posted by: Guillaume on Dec 28, 2008 4:20:03 PM

@Guillaume - thanks for the great addition to how to use customer feedback.

by the way, if you are interested in eco tourism Guillaume's blog is a a wonderful "gift" -

Posted by: Toby on Dec 28, 2008 5:11:54 PM

Thank you for the mention. This is a well thought out fantastic blog. I have just subscribed as well.

Have a great new years!


Mike Fruchter

Posted by: Mike Fruchter on Dec 28, 2008 8:28:19 PM

@Mike - appreciate your kind words (and the subscribe). Thanks to you for the time you spent developing the excellent Ten Tools for Listening post (see #1 above).

Posted by: Toby on Dec 28, 2008 8:43:03 PM

"Gifts that fit"...what a great overall analogy and then 6 perfect applications of it. And if your advice was followed there would be no need for a refund policy.

Posted by: Marianne Richmond on Dec 29, 2008 12:13:17 AM

Great advice around, Toby, though I question the last bit.

Should it be the role of the company to work with the customer on next steps; or don't you agree it's the role of the customer to suggest the company take such and such next steps?

Thanks for the pointer to Guillaume's blog.

Posted by: Ari Herzog on Dec 29, 2008 4:15:13 PM

The old method of advertising is interactive marketing. The term is misleading. Most people think it means that there is some type of interaction on the part of the person advertised to, and there is. But, it is not conversational. Instead, the advertiser wants you to interact with their campaign in a specific set of steps. Following the call to action and visiting a website for instance. It's the push to make you do something. Live this image. Buy this now.

Social Media Marketing is just the opposite. It's the pull of the tribe. The tribe already has your trust so the actions they take are ones you align with. On a larger scale, it's the allure of belonging in the group as you take action together. "I am doing this so why don't you do it with me?" On an individual level, the attraction is to behave the same way to get the same results that benefits your fellow tribeswoman or tribesman. "She looks hot! I want to look hot too. I want to go to her hairstylist" and you do. Social Media Marketing uses the power of attraction.

While advertising tries to use the same tactic, with a billboard for instance, of a gorgeous woman telling you the benefits of the salon, it doesn't have the same impact because it's pushing you to go. It is not pulling you in as a trusted friend. Your friends have your best interests at heart and advertisers do not. Social Media Marketing is based on building trust and that foundation will make Social Media a dominant player in Marketing.

Posted by: Brand4profit on Jan 3, 2009 1:48:07 AM

Very useful tips. thanks for sharing..

Posted by: seo services on Jan 9, 2009 5:06:47 AM

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