Marketing Strategy

Why Social Media is Different

Written by Ashwin Satyanarayana for Gaebler Ventures

The tables for marketing have been turned around; things are changing rapidly for marketers. Consumers emerge yet again as the force that determines the success of any company selling products and services. Here's how social media allows that to happen:

If you are in business, selling products and services, people are already talking about it all on the social web.

You might choose to throw an ad on the paper or on TV, but you can't choose not to be on social media platforms because you will be literally dragged to social media platforms and you will have nothing else to do but to answer and to respond actively. There is no escaping the social media phenomenon and here are the reasons why being on social media is different:

It's not your word anymore; it's theirs

For once, in the history of industrial revolution, a marketer might go silent. Marketing managers are now left with no choice but to make high quality products and services backed with superior customer service and then let people talk about it. The better the feedback is, the more sales the companies stand to make. This is a complete reversal from the marketing process that was in place prior to social media - a producer makes, then proclaims and then offers products and services. Most manufacturers go deaf after that not bothering to listen to their customers. Social media just turned the tables and even the deaf have to hear.

You can't use sleazy, two-timed tactics

Since the whole trust - buy equation shifted from the marketers' table to that of the collective word within social media, marketers can't use strategies and two-timed tactics to woo their customers. They can't use clever words and phrases to con people into buying their products and services. Companies can't force-feed people to buy pathetic services and products.

Social media reeks of trust while your advertisement reeks of manipulation

Social media takes word-of-mouth to a different level where people share their personal opinions about the products, services, businesses and brands they have used. If they felt cheated, they talk about it. If they are delighted, they will blow whistles and talk high about your stuff. Since it comes from unpaid, selfless acts of people putting up their point of view for the benefit of others, one thing that stands out on social media is trust - something that we now fail to do with mainstream media. On the other hand, normal advertising is mostly false promises, misleading dreams and outright manipulation - what wins, you think?

Ash has an undergraduate degree in engineering and an MBA from Ohio University. Today he is a corporate trainer, business coach and a freelance writer.

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