They don’t ask for permission.
Last week Old Spice showed the world how to use social media. They took one character who had been featured in less than five television commercials and produced over 100 commercials/videos in one day. It worked because they used tools and sites that require permission and options. Here are their YouTube results as of 7/19/2010
Old Spice used Twitter (which requires you get someone’s permission before you can talk to them) to start their campaign. The videos they created were in response to Twitter messages and were posted on YouTube. That means that people had the choice to watch non-Old Spice videos when they arrived at their destination. Old Spice resisted the temptation to change the surfing habits of users. People like sites they’re familiar with. Businesses spend thousands of dollars to build a web site that very few of their customers go to. Old Spice understands that I’m already going to YouTube today so they showed up there.
Social media begins with permission. I see television, print and radio advertising happening like this..
1. Creative people come up with a message for your product/service.
2. Technical people produce that message (commercial, print ad etc).
3. Messages interrupt and business owners expect a customer response.
Here’s how I see social media engagement happening:
1. Ask permission.
2. Start a conversation.
3. Add value and expect loyalty
Your message comes after the customer chooses to listen. Businesses can succeed by using social media but it doesn’t start with the product message. It starts with permission. The great news is that permission leads to more engaged customers. Businesses fail with social media because they try to talk before asking for permission. It happens when you advertise for people to go to your web site or stop by your store. Old Spice is obviously advertising but they’re doing it on based on my permission, not their URL. Are you looking at your web site differently after reading this? You should.