By Guest Blogger, Mary Schmidt, Marketing Troubleshooter
Recently Yvonne asked - via FB - what terms we preferred when talking about social media - did we grok and rock with "social media expert" for example. My reply (as regular readers would know) is that I don't like the "e" word. Anybody and everybody can (and seemingly does, based on Google searches) use it - and no real expertise is required.
As I've noted elsewhere, having a blog (or tweeting or posting on YouTube) doesn't automatically make anyone a "social media expert." I can replace the handle on my toilet, but that doesn't make me a plumbing expert. (It also took me about an hour and half to do that seemingly no-brainer task.)
Then today, I get this email with the subject line, "Social Media Experts Wanted." (Normally I'd delete unopened but I was pondering this blog post so....)
We are working with many internet marketing and social media experts in launching our new site. Please check out the promo site http://BlastOffNetwork.com.
If you are interested in working with us email me back directly or visit http://ItPays.me
That's it. No further explanation. Just a stone cold email blast. I assume someone somewhere bought a list of "thousands of bloggers" and my name was on it. Sigh. Yet another example of combining the worst of two worlds - old-time interruption marketing and the new "you can't hide" Internet technology.
These folks must assume I'm breathlessly waiting by my computer hoping for something to fill my time. (Sorry, clueless ad/PR firms - unless you're Don Draper offering to come to my house with martini shaker in hand...I'm not interested in an outta da blue email pitch.) In this case, I'm expected to go visit a web site to find out more about something I've never heard of...with no reason given as to why I should. (Although, the "itpays.me" address makes my web flim-flam antenna quiver.)
Seems (in a very quick visit to the web site; I'm busy) that Blastoff is another "sell to your friends" network marketing scheme ("Sign up your friends!") - with a shopping portal mixed in. You can shop at "hundreds" of online stores. (Um, I already go to Amazon and have my favorite stores, both online and offline. Why would I want to complicate my online life even more?) Then there's:
Blastoff Network is your launch pad to the internet which can be customized with your favorite news, music, videos, blogs, social networks and shopping, all in one place!
I can already do that - to the extent I want to...so?
The actual "thing" may even be good, but...a lazy marketer, using outdated methods, has turned me off. Don't let this happen to your company or new product launch. Social media - or any other new and shiny thang - is no substitute for real marketing.
(Of course, I'm already seeing Blastoff recommendations/links popping up over at Facebook. Oh well..."hide" "hide" "hide" [If you're wondering how to hide a friend's status or application, you've got to roll the mouse over the empty white space next to the friend's status and it'll show up.] FB has done a darned good job of hiding that feature. Gee, wonder why?;-))