Misunderstanding of Social Media Marketing

Are you social enough?

I attended a talk today at Princeton University titled “Blogs, Lulz, and Tweets: Social Media Comes to Princeton. This is a summary of what I liked and did not like or disagreed with during talk.


I liked the fact that Princeton University is aware of the power of Social Media Marketing,  trying to promote it to all departments, and encourage people to take some action in reaching out to students, faculty and staff.

Unfortunately, this is where the Like part ends. The next paragraphs are a summary of what I think Princeton University is doing wrong with its approach to Social Media Marketing.

Did not like, or disagreed:

The ” ” marks are some of the things that were said during the talk, and what I thought was wrong with this type of approach to Social Media Marketing:

  • “Everyone should start a Blog, it is easy to do”: This is the wrong advise to give someone with out explaining what a Blog Strategy is, and what a Content strategy is. So you start a Blog, and now what? How do you promote it? what do you write about? What voice would you use? Who are your audiences (students, professors, lecturers, people on the street)? These are very important questions that needed to be covered.
  • “Have as many followers as possible, be proud of it“: Princeton University (@Princeton) is following 26 people (I am sure that some of it are other Universities), and has 3394 followers. I will say it again, it is called SOCIAL Media Marketing, NOT Media Marketing. The idea is to be social, and by that I mean follow back and listen to what your audience has to say to you.
  • “Facebook (F.B) pages are like websites”: F.B pages are your way to promote your product/service/message/team/etc. These pages are not the company’s website. F.B is a social network, and when you start a F.B page you want to be social.  You also need to have a strategy of how to promote your F.B page, and more importantly, how are you going to use it? What purpose does it have in your department? Are you trying to promote a specific event? Are you trying to promote a blog post? What is your goal?

These are 2  questions that I did not think received the correct answers:

  1. Q: What if I only want to have a F.B page, but I do not want any fans on it? Answer: you can do it if you want. The right answer: What? How can you say such a thing? I will say it again, it is about being SOCIAL. If you can not be Social, do not use social media marketing for your organization.
  2. Q: I have enough spam, do I really want to add more Spam to my mail? Answer: it is not really spam, some of it is good.  The right Answer is: SMM is about asking your permission to take action. If you do not want it, you do not have to subscribe to anything. We ask, and you decide if you want it.

A part of me wanted to stand up and answer all these questions, but unfortunately I had to leave to work. All of these questions are common among new users of Social Media Marketing, and as a marketer I believe we ought to have the right answers at the right time.  This is the first “talk” in a series of 7 or so events. I hope to deliver my message to the audience on the next talk. Who knows, maybe I can offer my services to the Princeton University Social Media Marketing Task Force (this is the official name) to help them understand Social Media Marketing a little better.

facebook comments:

  • Love the fact that you are sharing your experience from this talk. The picture you chose for the post had me thinking the content was going in another direction (an individual thinking they should not participate in social media because they are shy or something).

    I’m curious, was this talk geared toward social media in general or social media specifically for business?

    For individuals, I would say, “go ahead, start blogging and play around with it and write something of value.”
    For business, yes, it’s important to make a plan and measure the results to identify if your return on investment (ROI) is increased.

    Lastly, I’d say it’s best to create links to a business fan page wherever possible like in this post Quick Trick to Link Facebook Business Page from Your Profile

  • Dan,

    Choice of picture: I chose this picture because people in the talk were against Social Media, stating that they feel they do not need to be social, and in fact they do not want to be social, but they still want to use SMM. There is a conflict there.

    The talk was geared toward departments in the University, encouraging them to use SMM to promote content, events, and communicate with students. In that sense, I thought they should have definitely talked about Blog strategy and content strategy. I also thought it was unprofessional not to mention it.

    You are right about individuals taking the initiative and start blogging. However, this talk was about “businesses (in the form of departments).

    I always enjoy reading your comments, Dan, b/c you always bring this wonderful knowledge from your own experience and of course from hanging out with the Hubspot Team.