Comments are often a source of inspiration to write new content. This time it was the comment from iknovate on a YouTube video from KLM:
Based on the comments, it’s clear that KLM has treated social media as a campaign and not as a channel for improving its relationships and being willing to fundamentally change the way they DO business.
Too often marketing activities on social media are seen as a social activity, while these are just activities on a social platform, nothing more and less. If you take a look at what marketing is, you’ll understand why marketing has nothing to do with social activities. If you have a mediocre (or to put it more positive: not really a distinctive or good product) it is likely that you have to buy advertising. Basically advertising is the price you pay for having an unremarkable product or service. Marketing is the way to prevent to pay for advertising, marketing is the process by which organizations create customer interest in goods or services so the customer will buy the product or service.
There is anything is social advertising and there isn’t anything social in marketing. Since both activities only focus on the outcome for the organization, not on the outcomes for other people. Basically the latter is the essential part of social media: it is not about you as an organization is about them (customers or other people in general). As long as the main focus is on making people buy your stuff, you are not participating in any social activity, you are advertising or marketing.
Treating social media as a channel is better than treating it is as a campaign. A campaign is traditionally a military term to identify a series of military operations intended to meet a particular goal. Again, that is only about the goals of the organization, not about the other party. Treating social media as a channel might be better since this approach could mean that you are also focusing on delivering value for others and you are less organization centric.
However just focusing on social media being a channel means that you are limiting your scope to communication. Though social is more than just communication alone: it is about the way you think and the way you act as an organization and about delivering value to others instead of focusing on an organization-centric advertising/marketing/selling model. Long term relationships instead of short-term cashing and people centric instead of organization centric.