What's wrong with social media marketing?

Steve Taylor

Social media marketing is an oxymoron. Marketing, as we have come to understand it, means persuading people to buy our stuff against a competitor's. It is 'us and them' thinking, while social media spaces are about facilitating social connections, building relationships and removing friction from communication and collaboration.

Social media is about participation and conversation. Social media is 'we' thinking and presents a golden opportunity for brands to build engagement and commitment with an involved audience, thereby going some way to future-proofing brands. But to succeed requires a shift in mentality from 'us' to 'we', a commitment to participation, a change in focus from 'messages' to 'conversation' and forgetting everything we thought we knew about 'marketing'. In social media, marketing does not work.