Pre Web 2.0, our goal and our obsession was to “drive traffic” to our website, to go out in the world and herd all those human cattle back to our own private Ponderosas. In the dot-orgasphere that typically means messing with search and PR. But the core mentality was old-school advertising. Interrupt, intercept and induce awareness and “trial” by the consumer.
Then social media came along. I think we are just beginning to appreciate how profound the shift is from a pre-Copernican (“our website is the center of the universe”) to a more modern perspective. It requires new strategies, new tactics and new expectations.
Here is the money quote from a very readable essay on this subject:
The brands that “get it” don’t try to control the message or how it is spread. Instead, they look for communities of users who have already self-organized — and nurture and support them with things they really need.
One metaphor i’ve started using is that of a bookmobile vs. a library. the library is fixed in place, and people have to come to you. The bookmobile goes out into the world, and visits places where kids and other readers hang out.
Social media requires a bookmobile strategy.