posted by | on Articles | Comments Off on The Internet Is Not A Billboard

The internet is not a billboard that a firm can use to slap their name all over the town, but a community in which dialogue and understanding are the primary goals.

What binds members to form a global community if they are scattered in small pockets all around the world and will never meet in person?

Benedict Anderson, professor of International Studies at Cornell University, explains this phenomenon in his book “Imagined Communities”. According to Anderson, the idea of a community is nothing but a social construct, wholly imagined by individuals who believe that they are members of this community. In order to maintain this community, it does not matter if members in the community ever meet, exchange ideas, or even exist, as long as individual members believe wholeheartedly in their existence somewhere on earth. Because of this, the internet is an ideal venue for fostering these imagined communities, uniting members all across the globe in their desire for special-interest communication.

Now that these communities have sprung up across the internet, what are the implications of participating in them?

Just like any other community, there are rules of membership that must be followed. David Meerman Scott, in his book “The New Rules of Marketing and PR”, clearly explains that members of a community are expected to engage in dialogues, two-way conversations in which both parties exchange ideas and express themselves and their opinions in an open and tolerant environment. This is where traditional marketing falls flat when applied online.

But advertising firms have been doing things this way for years! How does the internet change things?

Before Social Media Marketing, the number one way to reach an audience was through advertising, a one-way form of communication. However, when applied to the community model, it quickly breaks down. Think about the kind of people who spend all day talking at their peers without waiting for a response or signal of interest. They aren’t community members but parasites, and are to be avoided at all costs! The same goes for advertisers on the internet, which is why there is such a need for good Social Media Marketing.

What can Social Media Marketing do for me?

When properly applied, it can provide enormous results at a relatively low cost for the business: it can humanize a larger corporation, allow a small company to become a “thought leader” on a subject, empower a company to reach out to a specifically targeted audience based on geographic or psychographic proximities, or it can simply raise general awareness and appreciation of an otherwise dismissed brand.

How can I get started?

That’s simple! Caulfield & Co is happy to discuss How Social Media Can Help You.