Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Good News! (If you're willing to earn your advertising)

The idea that expensive ad buys could become a thing of the past is welcome relief to some and no doubt horrifying to others, depending on what it is you do for a living. Before reading further, you have to check out this insightful post from Advertising Age.

As with most things involving multi- and social media, this should be viewed as an opportunity. Any organization with the time and willingness to interact with their audience an authentic and meaningful way ...can then use those relationships to promote their products and messages to that audience.

But it does take time. If you haven't already, now is when you should open your Twitter account, begin an effective presence on Facebook, get some good videos up on YouTube ...start letting your customers and/or members know you care about them, by talking with them on a regular basis.

So who is doing this and doing this well? If you're on Twitter (and you should be!), check out the following tweeters for good examples of effective two-way communication: @comcastcares @zappos @HRBlock

Yes, those companies are still spreading their messages, but more importantly, they're catering to the questions and topics submitted by their customers and thereby building trust with those customers. Once that trust is there, you can then use the tools like Twitter and Facebook to mount inexpensive (Facebook and Twitter are free) and highly effective ad campaigns.

In a sense, it's nothing more than good ol' fashion customer service with a 21st-century technological twist ...that opens the door to nearly-free advertising.

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