Social Media Marketing #2

So what if all you write is stored on some remote servers in Finland? Are you going to stop using WhatsApp or FB? Well no, you are still going to write those hate mails and continue those lovey-dovey chats! Alas, you don’t leave marketers with much choice, so they will hit where it effects you the most; based on all the Information you feed them.

Let me cover here 3 fundamental ideas I learnt today about Social Media Marketing. Let me also warn you that the following material is nothing about how you make an effective Social Media Campaign rather it is about popular failures and a few successes.


Black Friday

It is perfectly okay to not know. So the marketers know that people are going to swamp the stores for this one day. But what was the sure shot strategy for them to win a customer?

  1. Give a heavy discount on a hot selling product (like a PS4 maybe)
  2. Keep the prices of the other products almost as is because a customer once in – after queuing for hours, wouldn’t really go anywhere else

This would have worked wonderfully till dedicated website appeared to direct the customers to stores which gave them maximum value for money. Hence, social media empowered the customers as now they knew exactly where they should go to get exactly what they wanted at the price they were comfortable with!


What if Crowd deserts you?

An interesting case here is the case of epinions.com on how they were brought down by the crowd which built them. epinions.com is popular website for best-in-class reviews on products written by the users. One fine day however the owners decided to remove the delete button for the users. So now the users could write a review but could never delete it. Idea was to safeguard itself and owning all the reviews written by the users. Users revolted almost immediately and asked the website to re-introduce the delete button. When the website refused to budge, the user did something clever. They wrote a review titled Epinions Blows Dogs Write-Off. Then they up-voted by clicking it again and again to make it appear on the website’s home page. Within no time did Epinion succumb to its user base and granted the delete button. To their surprise however, this time the user base just said goodbye! So, as we discussed in the SMM #1 post, here we understand that the power of the crowd can also play against you. So better be careful!


Information Economics

First fundamental here is that the markets work due to asymmetry of information. The one who has more information makes money. Then comes the concept of Signaling and Screening. A simple analogy to understand and differentiate both would be a situation of an interview where the resume you send is signaling while what you speak in the interview is screening. So with the advent of social media, screening has become much more easy. For instance, the reviews of a product on Amazon tell you weather the product delivers what it signals. Moreover the asymmetry of information has now been evened out by the simple act of screening. What it means to the marketers? Well they will have to be ready for screening because now the fact that subway is actually just 11 inch long can’t be hidden anymore.


Perhaps to summarize it will be apt to say that Social Media Marketing/ or not Marketing is tricky business. Question is who gets tricked, the marketer or the customer? Meanwhile Information Management Experts can lay back and enjoy the show because in this zero sum game they are always the winner!

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