Advertising and Social Media

One of the first questions that I get from a web savvy person when they see the stats for not just my blog, but the other sites I webmaster is why don’t you monetize it? The answer is quite loaded, since I do have google ads running on a couple of the sites and I have thought about putting more banners here and there. The short answer is because I don’t want this to become work. While I am totally open to the idea of using my web knowledge to make a company’s web presence more successful, taking the “Logtar” brand and making money with it might take some of the cool personal and social aspect away from it. I don’t have to answer to anyone and can post pretty much about anything I want.

That said, I believe that business using social media to reach their customers is one of the best thing that could have happened to advertisement in years. I have felt the advertisement world has been sick for quite some time. I was always annoyed by commercials where at the end I had no clue what the product was even if I could retell the commercial like I wrote the script. Unless they were going for full subliminal, I thought they were not doing a good job at all. Don’t even get me started with what I think of advertisement via blinking banners on the internet.

While Meesha is still very skeptical of the whole thing and pretty much feels like he is being attacked by all fronts from people trying to sell him stuff he does not want. I see the complete opposite. I see myself being closer to the product development and enhancement process than I ever have before. I feel empowered to not just #unfollow a shameless advertiser in twitter, but to support a company that is doing things right by talking about them. I do believe that social media finally earned its 2.0 with being the digital age word of mouth.

Being invited to the blogger/twitter preview of the AMC Mainstreet made me want to go again. It had nothing to do with me being given a free quesadilla or the ability to see a movie before its even on wide release, it had everything to do with the superior movite watching experience they offered. I am glad I gave AMC as a company a second chance because they had really lost me after a visit to the Fork and Screen.

Posting about something even in a negative manner still ranks the online presence higher. Being able to voice my opinion is powerful when you have an audience, and I feel that here in KC the local blogger/twitter group is raising the coolness level of this city. I have learned about more good places to visit in a short period of time than if I would have just visited the travel guide suggestions. I know some people like Meesha want to try everything for themselves first, but I don’t want to try a horrible place if someone else already had the bad experience. I have been told that I saved people a movie ticket with a movie review or at least made them wait until it became a rental.

I don’t think what social media is doing locally or even in a global scale is going to be easily manipulated. I don’t think a free sample makes you obligated to like something you would not already liked in the first place. At least from the places that have contacted me for a review yet, none have come with a “must talk positive about our product” rule, in fact most have wanted a very honest opinion in an effort to make their service of product better.

6 comments on “Advertising and Social Media

  1. On the contrary, I don’t want to try everything for myself and probably haven’t made any major or even minor purchase without looking for reviews in the last 5 years, BUT when I look for such reviews my only hope is that they are real. That’s different from dishonest, because if you are listing mostly positives it’s not technically untrue so you can do that and still feel good about your integrity. I don’t expect any advertizers to specifically request a positive review, but if you don’t think it’s implied you are very naive. If I take you out for a week at some new Disney venture, I would not expect a negative write-up; it would be OK to say something like: the hamburgers were 1/4 lb and I prefer 1/3, something minor but unimportant to make your review seem balanced. If you go negative guess who will not be invited to the next shindig. This is different from where you participate in the testing of a product like new Windows Beta and your negative input is vital for the company.You are right I am very cynical about these things, but sometimes even I can’t imagine the real level of manipulation and backhanded dealing that exists in real life.

  2. For the reasons mentioned by Meesha, newspapers do not let their writers accept junkets. When planning a travel issue, newspapers incur all expenses of travel, lodging and food. If they didn’t, their reports would be tainted.

    If you are using a blog simply to sell products, then certainly you’d want to include advertising. But the minute you add advertising to your site, your recommendations immediately fall under suspicion from readers that you are profiting from your comments.

  3. I don’t think marketing and/or inherently advertising are dishonest. I do understand the feeling tho.

    Having been a frequent visitor to “aint it cool news” since shortly after getting the Internet, I can say that in my experience marketing plays the odds. If you aren’t familiar, AICN is mostly a movie/tv review and preview site. I have watched them go from outsiders to having their staff invited to press and industry events. They even get some private interviews, set tours, and whatnot. What I am getting at is that movies (like any product) are marketed to make the most positive impact. You will see a LOT of chatter about good movies, and AICN and others will get a lot of access. But other movies are released with less Internet discussion, to limit the negative reviews. And let’s be honest people like AICN’s Harry don’t mind giving negative reviews to stuff they don’t like.

    I used the above to illustrate my feeling on using social media as marketing. I don’t now that positive reviews are at all implied, but I bet if they are giving wide access to local bloggers/tweeters then they are pretty sure of their product. I think if they wore worried it would suck, a lot less people would be invited to these AMC events. The odds say that if you get reviews from a wide enough group, some will be negative (or at least not ENTIRELY positive). But that so many people enjoying themselves will translate into good buzz. A slew of negative reviews might even give them time to make changes before going forward.

    In closing I would just like to urge people to be aware that when they go to these things (or get free products) thru social media that the company is probably putting out their idealized product rather than letting you go thru the average experience. It’s not dishonest, it’s just how it is. I mean have you ever had a Whopper that looked as good as that plastic one in the commercial?

  4. Good points from everyone, on the whole food thing I agree Nuke, pictures are quite different than what you get… however, weird thing I learned during my working in marketing days is that in some states by law, food photographers have do it with real food and not plastic and it has to be consumable. It is actually quite a process from the little I know about it, there is actually a lot of dirty tricks in the business of food photography too

  5. Social media is the wave of the future in terms of advertising, as targeting the “one to one” touch with the individual consumers is becoming more of a necessity to make your product relevant. Mass advertising in newspapers and TV is really declining.

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