I’ve talked about how social media has worked for me in past posts. I am passionate about social media and I know that makes it seem like I have a bias. But I have used all forms of marketing for years. I’m not a new kid on the block.
My Design Resumes business is more than 25 years old. I’ve been in phone books, newspaper ads, Chamber of Commerce publications, radio, and some odd things like plastic phone book covers and little known publications. Sometimes wasting money and effort and hopes and dreams.
Entrepreneurs Question Social Media Value
Wall Street Journal featured an article called Entrepreneurs Question the Value of Social Media. I always find it amusing when a source that began by being a mainstream media does a story about social media.
Traditional advertising competes with social media that is often free. I wonder how many times traditional advertising resulted in instantaneous results.I know when I see an ad for anything on TV, I don’t rush right out there to buy or change my habits.
For instance, an entertaining ad for Amazon Kindle was just on TV, the music was catchy. I did look up and the commercial was clever. If I decide to buy a Kindle, I’d check on Twitter to see if my friends like it, how they use it, and if it is worth it.
The interesting effect of traditional advertising is with a strategic social media campaign, people might make a faster buying decision. Alone, we still don’t run out the door to buy a new Dodge Ram just because we saw the ad on TV or read an ad in the paper.
You want to know why I read the Wall Street article to begin with?
My friend, Joe Jacobi, America’s first Olympic Gold Medal whitewater canoeist, 2008 Olympics commentator, and Executive Director of USA Canoe &Kayak tweeted and posted on Facebook that our mutual Twitter friend, Dave AvRutick was featured in the article.
The article discussed how as the President of Folbot, the folding kayak company, Dave used Twitter to talk to people about kayaks. He explained how a blogger bought her kayak after meeting him on Twitter.
Last year, Jackie Siddall described in a blog post how a message she received on Twitter prompted her to buy a folding kayak for around $1,900.
The vessel was one of about just 600 sold in 2009 by Folbot Inc., a small retailer in Charleston, S.C. “You can’t buy that exposure,” says the firm’s co-owner, David AvRutick, who claims the incident speaks to the value of using social media for marketing.
The article continues to cite multiple people and businesses social media marketing hasn’t worked for or at least hasn’t worked instantaneously. I would have liked the article better if it had spent a little more time exploring the options of social media. Perhaps that should have followed up with Dave a little more — I wouldn’t have known Dave or Folbot if it wasn’t for Twitter. Did I mention despite both Joe and Dave living on the east coast and loving kayaking, they had never met in person?
I love following their conversations on Twitter which often talk about food.
For weeks, they bantered about coming to Canoecopia in Madison, WI last weekend for the big paddlesport show put on by Darren Bush and his Rutabaga team. My former role with Wausau Whitewater makes me still desire to stay in the loop.
Joe and Dave also planned their food. They discussed all the breakfast options for this trip. They settled on The Curve for their now famous Breakfast Summit held on Saturday during Canoecopia.
Dave chronicles his whole first visit to Madison, Canoecopia, and the Breakfast Summit in his photo-enriched post here.
Must I repeat — none of this — not even the breakfast would have happened without Twitter!
For me, social media has built a tremendous community that I could never have reached though traditional means. Does that mean I will never advertise traditionally? No. I still continue to place ads on occasion. I certainly embrace my options to use both advertising and social media to connect and grow community.
Taking some time to explore new options, trying new things, will allow you to see for yourself what works. Invest some time though before you decide what doesn’t work.
I teach job seekers how to use social media in job search as part of my resume packages. Learn more.