As we have noted in the past, there are a number of ongoing debates about whether social media marketing “works.” And, the actual answer to that question really depends on what you’re expecting from your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts.
Still, there is one very easy way to demonstrate that marketing (or at least spreading marketing messages) through social networking sites can be effective: Just look at the sheer number of people and companies who are doing it wrong.
In the past year, a number of high-profile celebrities, not to mention Fortune 500 brands like Starbucks and McDonald’s, have gotten social media so wrong that they’ve been virally mocked for their efforts. If you don’t know about the incidents we are referring to, simply turn to Google and return here in just a moment.
In each case, the person or brand in question did or said something they shouldn’t have, and then word spread like wildfire through tweets and other social updates. But, like fire itself, that same dynamic can be used efficiently, and not just for the destruction of marketing campaigns.
The trick, of course, is in putting together your messages in the right way. Still, the failure of so many individuals and organizations to use social media effectively serves as a form of proof of its power.