Bob Lefsetz had a very interesting post/email today about the role of social networking and the need to semi-abandon traditional marketing principals. Now I don’t agree with everything Bob says, but when he’s right, he’s right.
The post is below and can be found at the Lefsetz Letter site once he puts it up. The critical point for me is the fact that social networking is just that; social. To me, that implies sharing, not broadcasting. It means that you engage those with whom you are connected in dialogue, not preach to them without interaction.
In short, it means that you as a content creator, marketer, distributor, brand owner or rights holder must let go of your preconceived notions of controlling the conversation and become a part of it. Of course you should engage, influence and support your cause & point of view, but not at the expense of listening and responding.
With so many networks out there and an increasing number of niche communities, I know that can be difficult from a pure logistical sense because there are only so many hours in the day. That is groups like we at Micco World (along with many other things), Ping.FM, Power.com and others are tackling.
But the ‘how’ is just one part of the equation as it is the ‘what’ and ‘why’ that will gain or lose fans, consumers and partners. The fact is, let go of your ego or soon no one will care.
Too many people believe a social network is something you invade to
spread the word on your band. The goal is not to ride on the back of
someone else’s social network, but to create your own.
to belong. That’s why MySpace blew up and Twitter too. The sense of
community. Facebook is a bit different. It’s about building upon the
community you’ve already got, keeping the bonds strong, or getting back
to where you once belonged, rekindling old connections. Big media
corporations are fascinated by these social media entities, they’re
trying to uncover how to leverage them financially. But, a band’s goal
is a bit different. Facebook communities don’t want you invading
them. Nothing’s worse than having your party crashed by unwanted
people or messages. We get to select who we want to follow on Twitter,
and as soon as you start hyping something, indicating you’re being paid
to send the message, we unfollow you. And MySpace? MySpace is history.
when you sit in those marketing meetings, when you’re at home dreaming
of a way to blow yourself up, don’t think about harnessing yourself to
someone else’s rocket. The key is to create your own rocket!
other words, Facebook and Twitter, all social networks are tools.
They’re not MTV, wherein you air one video and everybody sees it and
you’re on a rocket to the moon. They’re certainly not radio, wherein
you dictate to masses who are not entitled to a response. Social
networks are islands that you must ask permission to enter, and behave
properly or be ejected. So, if you think you’re going to leverage all
those millions of users, you’ve got another thing coming. But you can
build your own social network.
Oh, do we HAVE TO?
in old media wants to hear this. Old media doesn’t want to start over,
it wants a short cut. That’s what major labels had. That’s what major
corporations still employ. You’ve got enough money to advertise, to
bang people over the head. But today people IGNORE advertising. If
you’re planning on ramming anything down anybody’s throat, you’re
screwed. But can you build something so good people will be drawn to
Did you catch the action on Twitter today? Amazon deleted
books from Kindles. In short order, it was one of the biggest stories
on the microblogging service. Amazon in bed with publishers, don’t
trust the man. The truth ultimately outed a few hours later, that the
publisher in this case did not have the rights to the books being sold
and those who had purchased them had their money refunded. But the
point is there’s an online police force, that is spreading the word of
your misdeeds, and preventing you from making all those riches you had
in your plan.
Dell Hell is the classic example. Dell has never recovered. It’s about to be eclipsed in the PC market by Acer.
the good news is if you play by the rules, and have got something
great, people with no financial investment will tell many, and you can
get traction, oftentimes not having spent a dime. How big will you
Kill someone, create a stunt and you might make TMZ.
Everybody will know you, and then forget you. At best you’ll be a
distant, laughable memory. You don’t want this. In other words, if
you try to goose it, you’re on a slippery slope.
against marketing history! Wherein you grow market share by playing
with intermediaries, employing shenanigans that will result in a
clueless public purchasing your wares. Those days are through. As
much as Jessica Simpson’s musical career.
People want to belong
to new communities. That’s why FM radio blew up decades ago, that’s
why Pandora does not deliver the key experience today. We want to be a
member of the group. Can you create a group we want to belong to?
Huffington has built a better group than the “New York Times”. The
HuffPo stands for something, it’s the number one blog. The “New York
Times”? It’s removed, it’s not down with the people, it’s fading. You
have to be accessible today, you’ve got to get down in the pit, you
can’t have contempt for your audience, you’ve got to believe you’re no
better than them.
The public makes stars! Not record company or media kingpins.
And you’ll never really know what the public desires.
get a Facebook page, get a Twitter account, and provide so much
information about your project that people will want to follow you.
Play to the hard core, who visit your site daily and check your tweets
constantly. This is not the twentieth century, where you parlayed four
singles over three years to multiplatinum success… The hard core
know what’s on the album before you’ve even shipped it! And the hoi
polloi have so many other interests, so many diversions, that the odds
of them joining your hard core are almost nonexistent. Casual fans
yield almost nothing, maybe a single sale on iTunes. Whereas hard core
fans buy the $100 boxed set and a t-shirt, never mind a concert ticket.
shooting for the moon. Figure out how to satiate and get more money
from those who truly care, who will do their best to convert new fans.
Your ability to strong-arm fans is almost nil, certainly online. Not
only are corporations not to be trusted, but bands get a thumbs-down
too. Because of endless street-teaming and spamming. People only
trust their friends. So you’ve got to create friends in order for them
to bring in new friends.
So stop talking about your social
network marketing plans, how you’re going to spread the word via the
millions posting updates and pics about their lives. Think about
building a fire that will draw people to you! Embody trust. And
quality. It’s a brand new world.