Home  › Social › Social Media

When the Conversation Goes on With or Without You

  |  July 7, 2010   |  Comments

Take a lesson from Prince's mistake. Don't discount the Internet and social media when it comes to your image.

Mashable had a piece about Prince (you know, that artist who was formerly known as a symbol), who proclaimed that the "Internet's completely over." Well, Prince should be sent off to marketing camp with former U.S. Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska to be schooled in how the Internet works and its effects on our society, not just in the U.S., but globally.

Prince has been at this whole "the Internet is evil" thing since 1997. The problem is, while he's bashing everyone on the Internet from YouTube to eBay and even his own fans, the fans are talking about him, and not in a very favorable way. He may not be involved in conversations occurring in social media communities and may be a bit clueless to their actual power, but that doesn't negate their influence on other fans, or the executives that would produce and distribute his music.

As a result, Prince loses fans and respect. By dissing the very places that could help him further his reputation as a music superstar (at one time he was - who didn't want to party like it was 1999?), he doesn't recognize the power of community.

The Community Is Deciding if Prince Is Crazy, Not Him

One search on Twitter for "Prince" brings up a number of sarcastic responses and people making fun of Prince's latest quote, including one that's been retweeted over 60 times.

And then there are people questioning whether the guy is still sane, including a pretty respected source such as CNET:

The problem is that Prince isn't out on the Internet conversing with his fans or even respected media like a lot of other musicians, actors, and comedians have begun to do. They recognize that whether they like it or not, people are talking about them, so why not influence those conversations a bit?

Joining the Conversation Has Its Benefits

Alyssa Milano embraces Twitter. She talks back to her followers and even retweets things of interest to her unrelated to the entertainment industry. She lets people see a different side of her and gets involved with the conversation. She has a pulse on her fans and knows what they're thinking about her newest efforts in her career. She understands that whether or not she's involved, her fans will still talk, so why not join in?

For any company, the same should be true. Just because you don't think the Internet, or maybe just social media, is important doesn't mean you should ignore what's going on. Whether you realize it or not, they're talking about you; social media has just made that a lot easier to do with a lot more likeminded people.

Prior to the Internet, word of mouth was limited by geography. It was pretty tough to show people things if you were talking to them on the phone or in a letter; in person was the most influential way people had to talk to one another. Social media has made geography irrelevant when it comes to conversations. People can share photos on Flickr, videos on YouTube, PowerPoints on SlideShare, and PDFs on Scribd.

Ignoring the Conversation Can Be Costly

A few years ago, Kryptonite, a bike lock manufacturer, found out just how badly not being aware of or involved in the conversations could hurt its business. Kryptonite's mistake landed it on the front page of The New York Times and its business suffered greatly. This all happened because conversations were going on about just how easy it was to pick its "invincible" bike locks with a ball point pen. Once someone shared a video with a bike messenger community about how simple it was to pick the lock, Kryptonite was sunk because they weren't paying attention.

There are other examples as well, such as a coffee shop in San Francisco where the owner didn't know people were talking about him on Yelp, and not in a very nice way either. Instead of jumping in and asking his patrons "what am I doing wrong?" he decided that posting a "No Yelpers Allowed" sign in his window was the route to take. You can only imagine what happened after that.

In today's world of Facebook, YouTube, Foursquare, and so on, playing the "oh I didn't know" card doesn't work for businesses anymore. It's very easy to converse and influence others without any company representative being involved. Ignoring that fact could cost you a lot more than you think, just ask Prince...just don't use the Internet or social media to ask him about it.

ClickZ Live Toronto Twitter Canada MD Kirstine Stewart to Keynote Toronto
ClickZ Live Toronto (May 14-16) is a new event addressing the rapidly changing landscape that digital marketers face. The agenda focuses on customer engagement and attaining maximum ROI through online marketing efforts across paid, owned & earned media. Register now and save!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Liana Evans

Liana "Li" Evans is the author of the award winning social media marketing book, "Social Media Marketing: Engaging Strategies for Facebook, Twitter & Other Social Media" and she is the president and CEO of Da Li Social, as well as an adjunct professor for Rutgers University's Mini MBA Program. Liana has also been featured in the books "Online Marketing Heroes" and "Video Marketing An Hour a Day." As an established online marketing industry veteran with over 15 years of experience she's focused her unique skillset to specialize in integrated marketing and how companies can successfully strategize integrating all online marketing channels as well as offline traditional media. Her deep technical combined with a public relations background enables her to partner with clients for establishing successful online marketing campaigns that combine cross-channel tactics cohesively.

Li was the search engine optimization (SEO) and social media marketing architect for such companies as QVC and Comcast (Fancast) and has consulted with several other different sized companies such as AOL MovieFone. Her wealth of knowledge in dealing with large e-commerce and content sites allows her a wider perspective into what it takes to launch successful marketing campaigns in the online space.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get ClickZ Social newsletters delivered right to your inbox. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

ion Interactive Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper

Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper
Marketing apps can elevate a formulaic landing page into a highly interactive user experience. Learn how to turn your static content into exciting marketing apps.

eMarketer: Redefining Mobile-Only Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop

Redefining 'Mobile-Only' Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop
A new breed of selective mobile-only consumers has emerged. What are the demos of these users and how and where can marketers reach them?

Jobs

    • Contact Center Professional
      Contact Center Professional (TCC: The Contact Center) - Hunt ValleyLooking to join a workforce that prides themselves on being routine and keeping...
    • Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador
      Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreAgora, www.agora-inc.com, continues to expand! In order to meet the needs of our...
    • Design and Publishing Specialist
      Design and Publishing Specialist (Bonner and Partners) - BaltimoreIf you’re a hungry self-starter, creative, organized and have an extreme...