If you don’t pay attention to context on social media, be prepared to be called a “butthead”

not buyingIf you invited someone to your cocktail party and they started working the room like it was a speed networking event,  handing out business cards and launching into product demos, you’d be ticked. Because the approach is slimy; leveraging a social occasion to market, as if people couldn’t tell the difference.

Now your cocktail party is your Facebook feed and the slimeball networker just dropped an advertisement into your newsfeed. That’s the perspective of many Facebook members. While totally OK with sidebar ads (because that’s where ads are “supposed” to live), many users feel feeds are for socializing and overt advertisements are party-crashers. I have to admit, I find myself annoyed with many companies’ approach to social marketing when I experience it as a distraction.

Today, marketers have been given access to target audiences like never before. But they use the same old approach (complete with that “but wait, there’s more!” marketing voice…gag). Unfortunately for them, audiences are social and semi-anonymous, and have no problem calling a butthead a butthead.

I’m not saying companies should never use Facebook newfeed ads. In fact, if done well, they can effectively generate followers and dialog. The key is matching the tone and approach to other newsfeed content, while still focusing on your marketing goals. Funny, conversational, snarky, fasincating content and engaging, click-able images work.  Traditional advertising…not so much.