More on Social Media and the Social Contract

I am thankful to all who replied via Twitter and commented on the blog about the blatant use of Twitter for promotional blasts that in no way contribute to the conversation.

There really is a “give and take” – a social contract if you will – going on here. And it is great to see that so many marketers out there understand this. Chris Heggem gave a great comment. he noted that traditional advertising is blatant and in our face – but it is part of the give and take of mainstream media – we get a free TV show we like in exchange for sitting through (or Tivo-ing through) a series of ads. But he notes how this new media channel differs:

However, advertising and marketing campaigns on Twitter are completely different. No conglomerate controls or dictates the exchange. We do. Now we decide what campaigns we subject ourselves to or even if we want to subject ourselves to a campaign. We expect to see only what we want to see. The moment a “Tweep” begins to take more than he/she gives we are tempted to smite them with righteous indignation by hitting the unfollow button. This is our world. Play by our rules.

I don’t think we can downplay the effect that the mass mentality has in terms of making or breaking web 2.0 marketing initiatives. In the olden days of TV and radio, it tooks weeks or months for people to be sick of an ad and thusly turn on an advertiser’s brand. In the internet age, this can take minutes or even seconds.

So again, handle these conversations and relationships with care. As Chris notes – the customer is so much more in control of everything these days, and the results can have far greater negative repercussions that simply being unfollowed on Twitter.

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