Social media - do you suffer from Trendfear?

Social Media and CopywritingEarlier this week, the BBC reported on plans by universities to introduce social networked learning. This has apparently triggered anxiety amongst some academics who have been encouraged to engage with their students via social media.

The nagging fear of being left behind by the latest innovations has been labelled Trendfear. The pressure is on not to miss out on new trends that could affect you professionally. But not all new trends live up to the hype, so is it wise to jump on the bandwagon, no matter what?

Social media is now such an encompassing term that it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the intangibility and vastness of it all. One thing is for sure; nothing else enables you to reach a global audience in the same way and for such minimal expenditure.

Viral marketing, i.e. the self-replicating process akin to that of a computer virus can spread a message far and wide (and usually for free) in a remarkably short space of time. If you can create a message that appeals to people with high SNP (Social Networking Potential) that's likely to be passed on to your target audience, you can have a massively successful advertising campaign for practically nothing.

Of course, on the downside, negative messages regarding your company can also be transmitted globally by the click of a mouse.

Social media is an incredibly powerful marketing tool; however, it has to be followed up with something substantial. In this virtual world, there's got to be some reality, hasn't there? I’ve often been baffled by blogs and websites that are so vague I can’t figure out what they're trying to say.

To get the most from online marketing tools you need to be clear about the message you're communicating and what you hope it will achieve.

  • Do you want to boost sales, increase brand awareness or promote customer loyalty?
  • Can results be realistically measured?
  • Are all social media interactions good ones? How will Facebook and Twitter benefit your business?

A presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn has given me an online profile and put me in touch with agencies and a few other useful contacts. My blog doesn’t sell anything in itself, but it does act as a tool that allows me to explain the mysteries of copywriting to potential customers and add content to my website. I think I have realistic expectations of what the return on my investment of time spent on social media will be.

I’ve drawn the line at uploading a short video of myself at work on YouTube. I’m not convinced the sight of me tapping away at the keyboard, slurping tea and occasionally running into the garden to shoo wood pigeons away from my brassicas would be particularly beneficial in attracting clients.

In fact, my next marketing move is going to be to write a letter. Yep, snail mail. A well-targeted direct mail shot is still an effective way of bringing in new business.

Can you buy stamps online?

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Blogging for business (and pleasure)