Social media has long been touted as the latest and greatest
Internet marketing tool that will bring new people to any online
business seeking new customers.
For most online marketers, the social media environment appears
over-hyped and ineffective. Between Facebook, MySpace, Twitter,
Stumble Upon, and Delicious, online marketers waste plenty of
time trying to tap revenue from these social platforms.
Why Auto-Following Will Always Fail
John Reese is one of those people who has become famous for his
online marketing prowess, with a variety of product launches…
Even with his genius for online marketing, John Reese failed to
make the Twitter platform work for his business. In June of
2008, Reese realized that the auto-follow strategy of gaining
Twitter followers was not working.
The auto-follow Twitter marketing strategy is doomed to
failure. I actually lost a little bit of respect for John
Reese, because he had to learn the hard way that the Twitter
auto-follow strategy would not work. A man with his genius
should have known before he started that the technique was doomed
to fail miserably.
It will fail because it works in the same manner as a safe list
or traffic exchange system, where a bunch of people will gather
together to send advertising to each other. The problem is that
people only agree to join such systems so that they can send
their advertising to others, not so that they can read a ton of
advertising from other people.
People do not join safe lists because they want 10,000 people to
send them advertising in their email. They only agree to let
10,000 people send them commercial e-mail, because they want to
send their commercial e-mail to 10,000 people. Everyone
involved is so caught up in the hope that someone will read their
advertising and buy what they are selling, without giving much
concern or thought to the idea that even they are not reading the
email that other people send to them.
In June of 2008, John Reese gave up on the auto-follow strategy
for gaining Twitter followers. He un-followed everybody in a
single day and started again from scratch.
Is Twitter Dead?
Nearly 2 years later, in March of 2010, John Reese declared in an
e-mail to his mailing list that he had deleted his twitter
account. He cited the same reasons that he did 21 months
previously — too much noise.
John Reese is not the only online guru to abandon the Twitter
platform. Frank Kern, and a few of Reese’s other online
associates, also bid Twitter farewell. Kern said that Twitter
was a “time suck” that was eating into his productivity.
Please don’t get the idea that my reporting on the marketing
gurus leaving Twitter like rats from a sinking ship is a signal
to you that you should do the same.
In fact, I am not leaving Twitter and I see no reason that you
By mentioning Reese and Kern leaving Twitter behind, I am only
pointing out that some of the sharpest minds involved in online
marketing have yet to understand the true art and science of
social media marketing.
Both of these guys are smart. Few people will argue against
that. But, both have failed to understand how to turn a profit
from the Twitter social media platform.
Social Media Marketing Is Not Mass Marketing
If you were to ask me. These two guys, smart as they are,
missed the most elemental foundation of social media marketing.
say, after me, S-O-C-I-A-L. SOCIAL media marketing.
John Reese and Frank Kern are masters of mass marketing. Mass
marketing does not work on social media websites.
Social media is described as such, because it invites individuals
to socialize with one another. Those individuals who have
mastered the social media platform are those who have understood
how to create relationships, develop relationships, and maintain
relationships. They have understood that social media websites
are there to help you nurture social relationships with other
The mass marketer is focused on himself, above and beyond all
other people. The social marketer is focused on building
relationships with the people with whom they would like to do
If you understand how to attract people and maintain personal
relationships with those people, then you may master social media
marketing in a way that John Reese and Frank Kern were unable to
Stumbling In The Dark
The first step to mastering social media marketing is to learn
how to attract people. Auto-follow will never work towards that
end. In order to attract people who want to follow you, you
must inspire them to want to follow you.
It is funny when I watch the people who are trying to market
themselves on Twitter.
Some of those people will send out an endless supply of quotes,
trying to convince you of their value, because they have said
something clever through the words of another person.
Others will send out sales message after sales message hoping to
attract your business.
Still others will try to win your support by focusing on key
words. They want to treat Twitter as if it were search engine
driving traffic to their website.
Some Twitter users will make certain to include a link with every
tweet. The smarter of the lot will only link to information.
The more shallow of the group will only link to sales pages.
And finally, there are those who are probably smarter than all of
us put together. They are the ones who provide a mix of
content. Sometimes, they will give us a link to information.
Sometimes, they will link us to the sales page. At other times,
they will share quotes and news headlines. And in all cases,
they will socialize with their followers, asking about things
important to their followers and sharing their personal lives
with those who ask.
The Lesson To Take From This Article
Social media marketing works best, when the marketer who is
attempting to use it, remembers that first and foremost it is a
platform to socialize with other people.
Why do people follow YOU on Twitter?
They follow you, because there is something about you and what
you say that appeals to them at a very human level.
If you want to win in the Social Media element, be human and
don’t be afraid to socialize with your friends and
Copyright (c) 2010 Marty Bradfield
Marty Bradfield teaches the Basics of online marketing and
Cutting Edge Techniques used by online marketers, to develop lead
generation systems for new businesses. He recommends the 80-page
report that outlines 35 Proven Traffic Generation Techniques used
by professional marketers to build their online businesses