Ditch the Pitch in Social Media

Marketing has changed in the past few years.  The principles that I was taught in both undergraduate and graduate school have shifted, specifically in regard to customer interaction.

Out is the interruption-based model where marketers tried to intercept the customer and “catch” them with an attention-grabbing message.  The new model stresses the need for the engagement of the customer, created by forming long-term relationships and exchanging useful, meaningful information.

Paul Gillin speaks to many of these changes in his book “Secrets of Social Media Marketing”.

He advises marketers to “Ditch the Pitch”.  At first it is hard to think outside of this box, as this is the very essence of “old” marketing techniques.  It is what we have been taught and what we have been doing for years.  However, according to Gillin, customers are not only not listening to pitches anymore, but sneering at them.  Not a good way to increase your customer base, eh?

Another point that Gillin stresses is to optimize your social media efforts by using key terms that are relevant.  That seems easy enough, yes?  But, what really made me think is when he mentions that words such as “best-of-breed”, “market-leading”, and even, “breakthrough” are words that have little meaning to the customer.  What?  Does that mean these classic phrases that I have used a gazillion times in campaigns are not longer relevant?  The answer is a big “YES”.

I personally like this marketing shift as I have always believed that relationships were the key to success.  Now that the proper outlets are out there to form and strengthen these relationships, I say “bring on the conversations”.  I promise to “ditch the pitch!”


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