Social media marketing violates a major marketing model–which is why it fails to work in many cases.
I’m sure there are people in the group who will write chapter and verse about the benefits of SMM. There are studies showing how it works, how much it generates, ROI, etc.
One of the big questions I have is its ability to gather attention, the first principle of AIDA. If you don’t have a market presence to start with, social media seems unlikely to me to generate it.
Viral Marketing is Different
Certainly, if you can generate a viral buzz or meme using SMM, you are gathering attention. When everyone is trying to create the next big thing (sorry Samsung), when do you get above the noise? When and how do people who don’t know about your product or service find you?
The internet has become a non stop cacophony of exactly the kind of marketing people want to avoid–interruption marketing. Look at the number of pages whose video players are set to auto play. Add to the noise the delayed flash pop ups, fly ins, roll overs, hovers and so forth and you have a medium that is way noisier and more full of crappy unrelated content than any TV, radio station, FSI, or fashion magazine.
Marketing by Word of Mouth
How is social media marketing different? Other than its cheap.
In the old days of Mad Men ad agencies, three martini lunches, and expensive compelling creative only we cared about, social media marketing was called something different.
It was “word of mouth”. To the degree brands believe they can control the thoughts and actions of people who use or diss their products is the level at which they delude themselves.