Ok, let’s get a couple of things out of the way.
I’ve also known David for almost 10 years — he was one of my first clients when he worked for a now defunct “dot com” company. He emailed me when he went out on his own and we’ve kept in touch ever since.
And last but not least, my client, Dr. Helaine Smith, is featured in his new book, World Wide Rave : Creating Triggers that Get Millions of People to Spread Your Ideas and Share Your Stories (Wiley, March 2009). I was one of those who received a galley copy.
Although I love David and his ideas, I was slow to see the value of social media. Because I work for B2B companies, I valued — and still do — traditional marketing practices like trade shows, white papers, direct mail and the like.
You know, the stuff that delivers LEADS.
But a revolution has taken place — and no where did I see this more clearly than with my own business.
The more I got my name “out there” using tools like this blog and LinkedIn and now Twitter, the more business came my way.
But I still didn’t quite buy into social media — the value of which I could see for a consultant like me or a dentist or even a hot Internet marketing company like HubSpot or a way cool company like Cisco.
But a company that manufactures high-tech widgets that only engineers could love?
No way, Jose.
But then I sat in a meeting last week with said bunch of engineers — and we’re talking the hardcore type — and one of them said, “You know, LinkedIn has a number of groups for our industry” and I just about fell over.
Social media is not about creating a company profile on Twitter and then sending people to your products and services pages via propaganda disguised as “Tweets.”
Social media is not about replacing your traditional marketing collateral with YouTube videos and then waiting for leads to drop out of the sky.
And social media is definitely not about creating content and then having people hand over their name, rank and serial number in exchange for this content.
As David says in his book, social media is about combining the many online tools available and using them to reach your buyers directly by having people spread your ideas — with no strings attached.
For you marcom and PR folk steeped in traditional marketing and PR, this means letting others talk about your company without you “controlling the message.”
I really like World Wide Rave. I like it because David takes the time to answer many of his critics — and in the process, gives marketing and PR professionals ammunition to use when advocating the use of social media.
I especially like the fact that he dismisses the myth that a successful World Wide Rave only means that millions and millions of people view, listen or read your content. As David says,
A World Wide Rave is about reaching your buyer personas — the people who will be interested in your products and services. For you, that might just be 10 people. Or ten million. No matter the size of your market, when people are spreading your ideas online, it’s the best endorsement possible and a proven path to increased sales, fame and fortune.
David is doing lots of fun stuff to promote his book, which is due out March 3, 2009. Right now you can access his World Wide Rave blog and see the locations around the world where people have photographed themselves with his World Wide Rave poster — from the Boston area to Antarctica!
This poster campaign is just one clever way to conduct a World Wide Rave — one that *any* company can do with minimal cost and effort.