Can I be the first to complain about the commercialization of social media marketing? One need only to take a stroll to one's own Facebook news feed and, without the proper security precautions, you won't recognize your page. This happened to me. I was off Facebook for about a month and when I returned, it had been hijacked! People had tagged me on stuff that had absolutely nothing to do with me.
Just this past Saturday I had an experience with someone on Facebook. I sent a personal invite to a woman using Facebook chat. I wanted her to listen to a free audio I had just launched. One would have thought that her focus would have been on the word, free, but it wasn't. Her response was, "Thanks for this message. Is it a generic one or...?" I assured her that the message was sincere. In fact, "It's not generic. I truly mean it," was my reply. She thanked me and said that made her feel better.
This only confirmed what I had already been feeling. She put into words the sigh of frustration that comes out of me as I navigate what feels like one flashing billboard after another. This post saying "look at me!" And another post saying, "No, looking at me is better!" It's creating too much noise. Instead of creating a a frenzy around our products or services, folks nerves are beginning to frazzle.
So what should we do?
I certainly am not a marketing expert but I am a real person. I think we in business forget that sometimes. We get so focused on our goal that we forget that we are people. Something that hasn't changed is the power of building strong relationships. Customer service back in the day was built on it. High speed this and that does not change it. I think that was the key in my response to the woman. Three little words, I mean it, shifted her from feeling unsafe to welcoming me into her space.
So while I don't believe there will be a mass Exodus from online marketing, I do believe that many ads are going to be blocked and people are going to refuse what we have to offer until we get back in the people business. Why? Because they matter.