I read a very interesting blog post the other day, which made me think about the basic principals of SMM. Briefly, the discussed post suggested that the basic principals of SMM are in fact not new, as some suggest, and date back to the early 20th century.
This made me thinking. Early 20th century is a long time ago; times we did not have Internet, email, and other social media tools that make our lives easier as marketers. If media as we know it today did not exist in 1923, is it true to say that Social Media Marketing existed nearly 90 years ago?
Let’s compare and analyze the two eras discussed in this insightful blog post.
- Year: 1923
- Tools: door-to-door sales
- Tactics/Incentives: Free samples; free gadgets; free advice from professionals that help solve a problem
- Year: 2009
- Tools: Internet
- Tactics/Incentives: Free services; innovative tools that cost nothing; free advice from professionals that help solve a problem.
It is suggested in the article that the tactics used on Event 1 resulted in 90% conversion rate! In other words, 9 out of 10 leads decided to buy the product, turning them to customers. This is an amazing number, considering these marketing tactics were used nearly 90 years ago.
The tactics used on Event 2, when creating a good SMM strategy, may result in the same high number of conversion rate.
My argument is quite simple. Media as we know it today did not exist in 1923, thus we can not call the tactics used in 1923 a Social Media Marketing. However, marketing tactics that were implemented in 1923, as you can see in the comparison analysis above, used the same approaches that are being used in 2009 SMM, and resulted in somewhat similar conversion rate.
What is the link then?
The link is Social!
1923 marketers used Social Marketing (SM) to generate leads and customers. 2009 marketers are using Social Media Marketing to do the same.
Same tactics –> different tools –> different eras.
Two Key points to take from this point:
- A lot of people think that Media is the key to have a high conversion rate. Wrong! Just because you started using Facebook, Twitter and other SMM tools to promote your business, or yourself, does not guarantee that your business will grow.
- Do NOT focus on the Media part when creating a strategy. It is cleared that Media as we know it today did not exist in 1923. Instead, focus on being social.
In conclusion, I do not think Social Media Marketing existed in 1923. I think it was more Social Marketing, which is really amazing to me because advocates of SMM are trying to portray it as something new (i.e. new rules of marketing, new rules of PR, etc), which in fact it is not.
90 years of marketing have gone by, and the rules are still the same: Socialize with your customers and create relationships.
Make sure to read the entire article here, it is very insightful!
Leave your comments, tell me if you agree or not.