Monetising Social Media – The Return of The Snake-Oil Salesmen

Couldn’t let this one go without some sort of comment.

Yesterday I was forwarded an email invitation to attend the breathlessly-billed ‘first ever Marketing (magazine) live webcast on monetising social media’. The only good thing about it is that it’s free – but, working on the principle that there is no such thing as a free lunch, I would imagine that sales messages are going to be sloshing over its gunwales and that the ‘highest rated speakers in this space’ are going to be ‘social media strategists’ one and all, representing the very finest in social media marketing service provision. But I’m just cynical about these things.

Anyway, it’s a free world, so if you’re interested, clickety-dickety here.

 However, the bit that I couldn’t let pass without comment was this:

“Sites like YouTube, Twitter and FaceBook have been real cash cows for some marketers, but what are the secrets of their success?”

Sorry? Who, exactly, are these marketers for whom social media has been such a cash cow? I’m aware of a number of brands/companies/organisations that have pumped a lot of money IN to social media marketing – but I really don’t know of any who’ve found social media to be a ‘cash cow’. (And don’t get me wrong – I’d be very interested by, and grateful for, any good examples.)

Or are the marketers that have found social media to be a cash cow those who carped the diem and reinvented themselves as social media marketers – and are now rolling in fees chucked at them by brands/companies and organisations desperate not to miss out on what they’ve been told is the ‘next big thing’?

2 thoughts on “Monetising Social Media – The Return of The Snake-Oil Salesmen

  1. Couldn’t agree more! Whilst some brands may have made some money, many more are unsure about social media. More importantly, much of the interest from our clients/prospects in the UK is about educating them on what social media offers. When it comes to spending, most are more concerned about investing in search marketing or strengthening their website. With economic recovery around the corner, rectifying gaps here will generate far more revenue that social media.

    • Absolutely. Concentrate on your web presence and maximising the effect/impact of that. If you need to build a community – do it through your own website (via incentives, polls, active content etc etc). People signing up to a website because they appreciate its content are far more likely to be valid and valuable customers/stakeholders in future, rather than those who happen upon content while flitting through a social medium (or two) and are untraceable, unmeasurable and unable to be evaluated.

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