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When Social Media Marketing Turns into Cocktail Party Syndrome

May 28th, 2013 by

Social Media Marketing People knew how to throw a party in the 1920s. Look no further than Baz Luhrmann’s retelling of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, the 3-D saturnalia that David Denby, film critic for The New Yorker, called “Art Deco turned to digitized glitz.” Come on Mr. Denby, you have to admit it: Jay Gatsby, everyone’s favorite bootlegger and American dreamer, a man whose entrepreneurial spirit and self-invention is really the story of America, could throw one hell of a Friday night bash. Do you think Nick Carraway’s invite to Gatsby’s West Egg mansion said BYOB?  Probably not, old sport.

Social Media as the Global Cocktail Party

Social media has long been likened to a global cocktail party. A cheap laptop and an Internet connection and voila. You blog. You post. We like. We share. There are over one billion Facebook users and 500 million people with Twitter accounts, and newer platforms like Pinterest and Instagram are attracting users every day. Yeah, it’s a big party. Whether you’re a megacorporation, a small business or a Gatsby-style entrepreneur, trying to make your way from the coatroom to the bar can be difficult. In other words, how are you going to create a social marketing campaign that’s going to be seen, heard and talked about?

When Social Media Marketing Becomes Too Social

Chances are it has happened to you. You’re at a friend’s get-together. You’re walking down a crowded hallway. Suddenly, out of nowhere, you’re cornered by the dreaded Chatty Kathy. An hour later you’re still nodding your head, eyes glazed over, the chatterbox queen rambling on about every detail of her life, however trivial and mundane. The idea of social engagement, for this type of party guest, is nonstop filler. Conversation as a two-way street; forget about it. Lesson #1 in social media marketing: Avoid cocktail party syndrome at all cost.

Social media is about creating dialogue in order to attract business. It’s not the place to indulge in monologues. Save the speeches for the hometown theater. The last thing you want is for potential customers to start running for the door, nor do you want their eyes to glaze over with boredom; however, if you come across as too social, pushy, or give the impression you’re not listening to their feedback or concerns, this type of outcome is possible.

Do you remember those telemarketers that always used to call at dinner time? Do you remember how much your mother and father hated them? If you have an overly aggressive social media marketing campaign, then you run the risk of alienating customers. Sure, you’re not ruining dinner by ringing their black rotary telephones anymore, but if you’re sending customers a barrage of emails, promotions, blogs, newsletters and contest invites, you might want to think about streamlining your social media approach.

If you want your cocktail party to be a success, you need to be a cordial host. Just ask Jay Gatsby.

Damon H is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.

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