Being Bruce -: Layers of social media compared to cake!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Layers of social media compared to cake!

[I've talked about the following enough a good guy and Internet marketing consultant named Daiv Russell from the Tampa area asked me to get it in writing, so here it is. - Bruce]

The topic is social media and the question can vary, but addresses the same issue:

"Why should I use more than one type of social media in my marketing?"

Here's my answer (- and don't run out of the room for a peanut butter-topped Oreo till you finish reading it):

Using just one type of social media can be fine if that's what your friends or colleagues use, but if you're marketing with social media, your greatest impact will be from using multiple forms.

If you use just one type of social media, say FaceBook, or LinkedIn, or Twitter, or whatever, that's like eating a Krispy Kreme glazed donut (of which I'm a fan so this is nothing against Krispy Kreme whatsoever); a glazed donut, even a great glazed donut, hot and fresh from the place where glazed donuts come from (I guess an oven, right?) is terrific.
It's sweet, it's good, but the experience is fleeting. Momentarily it's a delight, but then your attention shifts - either to more glazed donuts or to something totally different. Maybe you'll remember your first glazed donut, just maybe, but quite possibly not. Most people go through life aware of glazed donuts and what they're about but there's no huge impact (yeah, I said "most" and 1. it's based on research in the mirror - my favorite kind and 2. I realize there are some folks who base their lives on glazed donuts - don't be one of those or you could end up a game show host.

If you mix your social media, adding and mixing multiple forms, your personal message and effect is richer, more impactful, and longer lasting - like an eleven-layer Hungarian torte. I still remember my first experience with an eleven-layer Hungarian torte. I can describe the day, the people, the Saint Bernard dog that lightly bit me that hot August day in New Haven, and the gorgeous young woman named Svetlana from Hungary who was visiting my parents' friends that summer. I was 12 years old. Did it make an impression? Obviously. And I'm still impressed every time I encounter an eleven-layer Hungarian torte now (I met, and consumed a piece of one, just last summer in Salt Lake City).

Why is Hungarian torte more impressive and memorable than a single glazed donut? Think about the implied effort, knowledge, and expertise. A single glazed donut, once you know the recipes and method, is pretty simple: mix dough, stamp out a donut-shaped piece, deep fry it quickly, dip it in hot glaze, serve, eat. It's good, it's fun, it's gone. Probably a machine can make a good donut. (Just as a bot can create and send social media messages.)

Making an eleven-layer Hungarian torte however, is a whole 'nuther thang. I won't go into it here (not that I know, but I'll look for a link for what appears to be a good one) but clearly you have to know about and assemble a whole lot of ingredients, assemble them with great care, cook them just right, and then do a bunch of other stuff to make it all come out correctly. Lots of effort, lots of knowledge, lots of expertise and even skill. It takes a skilled cook to create a great eleven-layer Hungarian torte. I can't believe a machine could ever make a good torte. A skilled social media expert knows how to blend blogs with FaceBook and LinkedIn and Twitter, and so forth, using the right utilities and design elements to get the most from each - imparting knowledge, expertise, and, most important, personality!

So that's my short version (!) of why one should consider using multiple layers of Social Media.

Now, a whole other topic is how Social Media should be only ONE LAYER of your whole relationship marketing plan (quickly (really) other layers include phone calls, in person meetings, hand written notes, SendOutCards (of course), personal e-mail, e-newsletters, parties, and networking events).

Here's a recipe for a six-layer Hungarian torte . If you're so inclined, good luck making an eleven-layer one (and keeping it standing straight). I wasn't able to find a recipe for that many layers, but suspect it's just more of the same (only trickier because the layers need to be thinner and the whole keep it standing straight thing).