The Hard Truth: Succeeding with anti-social media*.

If you’re an agency pilfering out social media advice to your clients, you might be constantly asked what’s the best way to come up with some winning strategies and campaigns.  After some careful consideration and a further review of what’s going on in the social world, it seems that all the advice you’ve been given is a complete wash. Yes, that’s right. It’s all bogus. There’s no need for listening to all the web 2.0 experts who have succeeded in the past with their campaigns and the brands that were successful. In fact, they were just plain lucky. Here are a few tips that will easily get you into the hearts and minds of people you’re trying to reach.

Have non-memorable web addresses. When you’re having people visit your site, if you’re having campaign specific URLs, it’s alright to have them be non-descriptive. That way you’ll force the user to visit your site more often as a starting point.

All flash sites and applications is the way to go. Aesthetically, this is the way to grab people’s attention. The more interactive a site is with movement and dancing colors and elements, the higher the satisfaction your users will get with your site.

Embedding your content into background images. If you don’t want people to steal your content or even worry about HTML & formatting issues, embed all images & content into a single layer and make it a background image. It’ll cut down on load time.

Excessive customized font usage. You know what’s best for your marketing campaigns. If you feel that your site needs more than Arial, Verdana, Times New Roman, or Trebuchet MS for your site and you don’t want to make it into images, go ahead and style your site using whatever fonts you have on your computer. After all, it will look good to you.

Spam is key. It’s one big conspiracy. The reasons why you’ve been told not to spam people are all shams. Make sure that you’re constantly barraging people and you’ll eventually get them to submit to accepting your emails and information. Remember, it’s no longer about the cost per acquisition or conversion. It’s all about impression. The law of probability is that the more impressions someone has, the greater the chance of conversion.

Delete negative comments and don’t worry if no one responds to your campaign. The more positive people there are commenting on your blog and site, the better your brand appears. Engaging the community is overrated. The impression that all positive comments will give is a favorable one to your brand. The negative comments are from people who hate you and shows that you got it right the first time.

Feel free to use social networks that used to have the leading audience. Don’t shy away from former great sites like Friendster, AOL, Asian Avenue, or Yahoo Groups. These sites had their hey day but are in somewhat of a slump before bouncing back and reclaiming their former glory. The more you interact with those pre-renaissance sites, the less competition you will have and also stake an early settlement to work your magic.

Buzz monitoring is useless. Your stakeholders won’t care what other people are saying on their own blogs or on message boards. It only matters when people say it directly to your face. Then you can either pay attention to it or take a look at what to do about “negative comments” (see above).

Make things easier on yourself and make your customers do the work. The reward is much greater for the customers when they finally get to the end result. If things are harder to find on your website and landing pages, it will show people are really interested in your site.

It’s all about numbers, not influencers. If you have only 100 followers on Twitter or on any other social network, you’re too far behind the curve. Start following and adding people. Again the law of probability will come through and you’ll reap better rewards than by simply targeting key influencers who could help spread the word. You want to be able to control the message at every point.


* THE HARD TRUTH: If you believed any of the above tips to be true, then you have unfortunately been lied to. For clients to believe these lies, that is an outrage. If your agency tells you to follow those rules, then you should get rid of them and talk to some more experts in the field. The world is changing and the Internet has become a great big conversation area. There are a lot of agencies that know what they’re talking about, but there are those who think they can get rich by selling you a bag of tricks but have in it a pile of manure.

This blog post came up during a recent Social Media Club tweetup here in San Francisco where I spoke with Bo Jacobson, Cory O’Brien, and Alyssa Crankshaw – all members of an all-around agency shop named Swirl where they specialize in “finding the right solution for the marketing challenge.” During this conversation, the idea about “spoofing” the concept of how to execute a successful anti-social media campaign was needed just to impress on how simple it is to change the fortune of your company online just by being naive about engagement on the web.

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