You say Social, I say Participation…

Filed in Social Media by Matt McGee on July 6, 2006 0 Comments

… but it’s all about marketing in the end.

In the middle of vacation I found myself writing a post here on SBS about participation marketing — the need to go out and find your customers in their space, rather than expecting them to find you in yours. I suggested seeking out blogs, forums, Google/Yahoo groups, and sites like Flickr and MySpace to find your customers. Finding them is only half the equation, though; once you find them, you have to engage them. Participate in their conversations, but not in a hard-sell way.

Heidi Cohen hits on many of the same themes in her ClickZ column today, Social Marketing: Reach Out and Engage Consumers.

Social marketing enables marketers to take engagement to the next level. It’s about having a public dialogue in which consumers and marketers alike participate and respond. Marketing is no longer just about broadcasting a message to a mass audience to drive sales and buzz. Instead, it’s a return to old-fashioned communication that happens to occur in a public forum. Marketing is participatory.

Yes, yes, yes.

This is not easy for the smallest of small business to do. It requires a commitment of time and manpower to do what may look, on the surface, like web surfing. But if that web surfing leads you to your customers, or potential customers, surely any small business can see the value in it … right?

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