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Advice For Your Viral Marketing Campaign: Get Vaccinated Against the Viral Marketing Virus

social media strategyDid you know that a full fifth of your current clients could suddenly up and leave you, if you’ve got Viral Marketing virus?

I know it for sure, because I was the ones who left.

Let’s go through a little background info on this dread disease before I continue my story of escape.

The phrase “I like viral marketing” turns up 9,100 results in Google search, but 2,120 results show for the search “I hate viral marketing”. These figures may vary on different days, but the tendency remains:

For every four of your possible clients you have another one who hates viral marketing in general or really hates some particular form of it.

In this case, Viral Marketing refers to anything involving social media strategy. Think Facebook Likes, Youtube shares, Tweets – that kind of thing.

One of the giant cockroaches, which may frighten your clients to death, is hiding here:

  • “I don’t like Facebook” gets 2,400,000 Google search results
  • “I hate Facebook” gets 1,330,000 Google search results
  • “I don’t like Twitter” gets 634,000 Google search results
  • “I hate Twitter” gets 429,000 Google search results

Even allowing for error in these statistics, there are plenty of people who will not want to share your content in social networks, even if you promise them a tempting reward. Your attempts to persuade them may end with a disaster.

Now, back to how I almost caught the Viral Marketing virus…

The Mistake of a Conceited Tailor

I used to follow the sewing blog of a woman with excellent professional qualifications, many years of experience and a soft voice, which was a pleasant supplement to her instructive webinars. But one unfortunate day she caught a dangerous local mutation of the Viral Marketing Virus and said:

I will post the second part of my instructions on how to (…), only when there are 40 “likes” for the first part“.

I was puzzled. And irritated. And a little put off.  Plenty of other readers felt the same, because it took quite a long time for her to get those 40 “likes”.

Meanwhile the Viral Marketing Virus was conquering her mind, and another day, not long after, she declared:

I will give you access to my next webinar about how to (…), only if you post 3 links in various social networks. You must inform of these links in the comments, I will check them for validity and then I will send you the link to the webinar“.

Feedback was fast and destructive. From the 90 comments on this post 15 were about unsubscribing definitively, 8 said they started thinking of unsubscribing. How’s that for a conversion rate?

Those who left spoke about unfair attitude, offence, humiliation, compulsion, discrimination.

Some of them didn’t have accounts in social networks, or they did, but they were not public and the readers only wanted some sewing information.  They had no social media strategy. For others the topic of sewing was absolutely irrelevant to their friends, followers and even employers, who were monitoring their accounts.

But the disease had a firm hold, and continued warping her marketing. Several readers, who did complete the requisite linking and social sharing didn’t get the link for the webinar in time to attend it. Because “we should understand, that checking all those links takes a lot of time“. Talk about appreciation!

I was among those who unsubscribed definitively.

The Dangerous Turn to Dictatorship

Soft-spoken doyennes of sewing blogs are not the only victims of the viral virus, not by a long shot. It’s contagious, and spreads mercilessly.

The next outbreak I want to tell you about was in a popular blog on informational business, owned by some gentlemen with good knowledge of sophisticated software. They automated the process, partially, but the malady was the same:

Share in 3 places, inform of your links in comments, they will be verified, you’ll get a promised E-Book. If you didn’t want to share socially you could buy the e-book, and the price was not low, not at all.

The discussion which broke out was hot and uncompromising. No wonder, the audience was composed of marketers! There were not enough reasons to buy, the book was not promoted earlier. The main emotional driver among the “professionals” was indignation and reluctance to cooperate under the whiplash.

Flying Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Looking through the comments in both cases, I defined two camps at war: those who suffered from the disease and those who protected it. Those in the second came protected not the idea of viral marketing activities, but the blogger who engaged in them.

The popular argument of those fans was that their dear blogger didn’t need the unsubscribers, who were accused of being lazy freeloaders – uninterested, incompetent, stupid, unable to push a couple of buttons. In both cases the bloggers silently stood on their position and didn’t take a step towards the offended. Who knows how many people lost their desire to buy from them?

Were those bloggers really so rich and successful, that could throw away a significant percentage of their audience that it may have taken months to accumulate?  I doubt it.

Those were the sad stories, how Viral Marketing Virus penetrated communities and poisoned the relationships.

Stop Viral Marketing Virus!

Experiencing these Viral Marketing virus outbreaks taught me some powerful lessons. Since I felt the pain as a client I knew that I had to be fully vaccinated against the disease as a blogger. I concocted this course of prophylactic pills and keep them handy when I’m planning new campaigns.

Pill #1

To be taken 7 days before any marketing campaign through social networks.

Remember: Who are you working for?

  • When finding your target audience, ask yourself what the odds are that they are all fans of social networks. Do you have iron-clad reasons to support your conviction to go with viral content marketing?
  • Maybe you will decide to run a survey, asking your audience about their favorite social networks and how active they are in them.

Pill #2

To be taken 3 days before the marketing campaign begins, if you decided to continue with viral marketing.

Remember: What products or services do you offer?

  • Would people with the specific problems your product solves feel like talking in public about it?
  • Does your audience use their social media in accounts in a way that is appropriate for this sharing campaign?

Pill #3

To be taken 1 day before the viral marketing campaign, if you are still going for it.

Think About:  What is viral marketing? What tactics are you going to use.

  • If you offer more than one social button to “pay with”, allow a client to decide which one to use. (This was implemented well with the Naked Marketing Manifesto.)
  • Never, ever say that you will be verifying the links, before handing out the product or service, even if you do! It’s always a bad idea to treat your audience like children.

In case of emergency, if the Pills are not enough:

If you did your best, ran your campaign and got some unpleasant reactions, accept them graciously, respond, apologize if necessary, and mend your ways.

When I decided to divorce with the sewing blog, I still was ready to buy the recording of the webinar that had angered so many people. But my comment explaining why I quit, though polite and honest, was held in moderation for two days and disappeared from the list, with zero reaction from the blogger.

I changed my mind about the purchase.

So take this next bit to heart, because we all make mistakes, no matter how hard we try to avoid them:

The worst response to an unhappy customer or reader is disregard.  Take your medicine like a grown-up and attempt to mend the breach.

My affair with that sewing blog was almost a month ago. This whole mess probably wasn’t worth one more than a few minutes of my time (just enough to click unsubscribe!), but my expectations were not met, my plans to sew were ruined and my emotions were so violent that I’m still nursing them today. Hence this blog post.

All this happened because the viral marketing craze that has overtaken our industry got into the hands of people who weren’t ready or able to handle it properly. Like any other virus that can leak out from a laboratory, the Viral Marketing virus can ruin communities.

What would you feel and do in a similar situation – as a client, as a blogger, as a business owner? Help me to find the indisputable arguments against and vaccines for my next battle with the Viral Marketing virus!

About Olga Astakhova

Olga Astakhova is an informational analyst for a number of companies, who are large enough, to appear in world mass media every day. She is also a chief editor and translator in The School of Natural Voice, where you will find easy and free voice lessons for a better life, work and love.

57 comments

  1. Silviu says:

    Hi,

    This post made me laugh and also cry. Even experienced bloggers may not act so “intelligently”, sometimes. What happens here?

    The “viral” thing is a meme. This, usually, means an image loaded with emotional power that simply conquer minds, communities, countries, continents etc. It doesn’t matter if you want or not. If your mind is conquered, you will take action and do what that respective meme tells you to do.
    Most people’s minds are untrained and with a weak foundation. Their values are”relative” at best. So when a powerful meme comes into play and is accompanied by pleasure, promise, seduction etc most people fall like leaves from the tree.
    The “viral” meme comes with a powerful promise that simply seduces minds: the promise of an unbelievable exposure and traffic that can be earned fast and easy. Who can resist? Even powerful marketers fall.
    What do you need? Meme training. You need to be able to recognize memes and to control their power.
    Centuries ago these techniques were used only by magicians and witches. Today they are in the hands of many advertising experts and marketers and this makes mass media a very dangerous jungle.

    Beware of the power of memes.

  2. Joe Lee says:

    I read in somewhere that viral marketing should happen naturally and not planned. Create something of value, if the market bites it, it will go viral.

    1. Danny says:

      Hey Joe, I’ve heard people say that, too, but the truth is that when things just go viral by themselves, it’s like winning the lottery – very unlikely. If you want something to get viral traction – in other words, you want people to like it enough to share it – then you need to build it with that intention in mind (just like if you want any other kind of result, you have to build it with *that* intention in mind). That’s my two cents, at least. 🙂

  3. Wendy says:

    Hi Olga

    We could form a Google group, althought they can become messy very quickly. I like your idea of a blog. we could have a free one at WordPress.com, or even a Squidoo lens. With the WordPress we can each have a separate password to have author status. Someone would have to be an administrator to set it up which is easy done.

    I’m away for a few days from tomorrow without computer access. It’s mid winter down here in Oz, so am going north for a few days. I’ll think of a few names while away. (“honesty in social media”, “friends without facebook”?) I think it’ll be fun.
    Wendy

    1. Wayne Cochrane says:

      Names are a challenge for me Wendy.

      I come up with too many of them and all the best ones are already registered (often by parasitical “speculators” who just sit on them without using them and try to resell them for a profit.)

      i used to have the domain “EthicalInternet Marketers.com” (or EthicalInternetMarketing.com”, I forget which) which may have been suitable? But I let it expire as there was very little apparent interest in ethical marketing at the time as far as I could see.

      How far north are you going?
      I’m at the NSW end of the Gold Coast (Tweed Heads.)
      I’ll keep an eye out for you 🙂

      Wayne.

      1. Wendy says:

        A bit further north Wayne, I went to Darwin for a few days.It’s like summer every day up there.
        Back in Brisbane now with it’s cold mornings – yuck!
        Are we going ahead with this ethical marketing idea? The name doesn’t have to be an exact match keyword. I can set up a blog, but am a bit fuzzy with Google groups.

        Wendy

      2. Wayne Cochrane says:

        P.S. Case in point.
        I just tried to register a new domain name that I just thought of that would be perfect for my work.
        It is already registered by someone who is not using it but trying to sell it for $15000.

    2. Danny says:

      For what it’s worth, I’ve found that with smaller groups, a Google group is usually most effective, but with larger groups a Facebook group is often the way to go. 🙂

  4. Wendy says:

    It would be nice if there was a group for people like ourselves to be able to discuss these issues. It has been refreshing to talk to you all.

    Wendy

    1. Olga says:

      I’m glad you proposed it, Wendy. I was also thinking about it, but don’t know how to organize it. All groups are usually created in social media 🙂
      Or another idea – to have a common blog, with a separate password for every member of the group and a possibility to post there – a question or a post, or a page, whatever. I could register a domain.
      Any other ideas?

      1. Wayne Cochrane says:

        Olga,

        I would be interested in a common blog or a forum, on a private domain (not Blogger.com, WordPress.com etc) and definitely not part of a social media platform like FaceBook if the theme is ETHICAL marketing.

        Wayne.

  5. Wayne Cochrane says:

    Another example of “viral marketing” that I find particularly unpleasant and (deceitful) is the manipulation of the ranking of new (physical) books to gain Amazon, New York Times etc “bestseller” status.

    I have observed several book launches by very well-known Marketers and “Self-Help Gurus” that have given given the books away free, just for the cost of postage and handling and in addition given all sorts of free bonuses for a very short time (often just the first day of the launch) to get people to help push the (apparent) “sales” up very quickly and therefore rapidly climb up the bestseller lists.

    But of course this means that a “best-selling” book may not in fact be best-selling at all and may not even be popular or of any value. But does the Marketer care? He/she gains credibility and status to increase the success of their marketing and revenue-raising.

    I have even seen this tactic used by very well-known and respected authors who do not seem to recognize their lack of integrity. But when they then go on to brag about their best-seller status to those very people who they manipulated to achieve it (or tried to manipulate in my case), I am astounded! Have they no shame?

    Viral Marketing is is a pet dislike of mine but let’s face it, it is only the latest Marketing fad.
    Marketers and Marketing have been manipulating (even if they dress it up as”persuasion” and/or “influence”) people and distorting society for hundreds of years. As long as there are people who care more for their own “bottom line” than other people these distortions will occur.

    But do you and I need to join in this manipulation and dishonesty?

    Wayne.

  6. Wayne Cochrane says:

    Kristy,

    I completely sympathize with your attitude and your situation.

    However I do not see anything wrong with putting some sort of advertisement for the sale of your own books on your blog if you do not use any sneaky/sleazy marketing tactics to try to sell it. If you just tell people, that this is your book, this is what it is about, this is who it would be useful for, this is how much it costs and this is how to get it, then you are not doing anything wrong or anything that reasonable people would find offensive.

    In fact, if your work is genuinely useful to (some) people then you would be doing them a service by letting them know about your books. And you would be doing those people a disservice if they have no easy way of finding them.

    Anyway, that’s my opinion.

    Good luck with resolving your dilemma!

    Wayne.

    1. Being a typo queen, I’m always glad to find I’m not the only one, Wayne. 🙂

      Thanks for your encouragement, but I actually write fiction, so it’s not really going to help-or hurt-anyone if they don’t read them. I do have a couple of links if anyone is interested, but I just don’t do sales, so I’m good with it. I just enjoy blogging, and I’m patient. I may change things up a bit, but I’m just not comfortable plugging my stuff. I guess I got turned off on that because of Twitter (which may be why I’m not fond of Twitter). It gets tiresome to see people constantly hawking their stuff…and I don’t ever want anyone to roll their eyes when they see my name. 🙂

      1. Olga says:

        What a discussion! 🙂
        Kristy, the growing sales numbers for your book impressed me! I believe, people share their opinion about it outside the internet and this is the best advertising and promotion.

        I join Wendy and Wayne that there is nothing wrong to create a presentation inside the blog. If it is one of the common static pages, like “About us” and “Contact us”, with a piece of information – why not?

        But I guess, I can understand your point of view. Here there is one more important problem – protecting own name as a personal brand. With viral marketing it is especially dangerous. Once involved – it may take months to save your personal image in the eyes of your readers and customers.

        Wayne, I see, this is your major concern as well. Today there are more and more people who also try to follow the way of ethical marketing. Funny, but with so much marketing information around, people understand better all marketing tricks applied to them and can resist them. The tricks stop working and there is no other way but to promote ethically. The Nature knows how to rule this planet 🙂

    2. Wayne Cochrane says:

      Sorry Kristy,

      I have just found a “typo” in my previous comment:

      “In fact, if your work is genuinely useful to (some) people then you would be doing them a service by letting them know about your books.”

      should read:

      “In fact, if your work is genuinely useful to (some) people then you would be doing them a service by NOT letting them know about your books.”

      Whuh! What a typo. That omission changed what I TRIED to say to it’s opposite.
      Hmm… what was going on in my subconscious?

      Wayne.

  7. Love this post, Olga! Probably because I hate viral marketing. In fact, I hate it so much, I try not to market anything on my blog…not even my books (exception would be during a book release blog tour, but I still don’t ask anyone to buy anything…just visit the participating blogs if they want to be entered into drawings to win copies of the books). I have links for them, of course, but I’ve never asked anyone to click on them…and never will.

    I also do very little with Twitter and Facebook, therefore I’d never ask people to like or follow me. If I’m going to give something away, I’m not going to require them to jump through a bunch of hoops. Though I will say that some blog tour hosts have required their readers to like/follow me for their drawings. Next time I will ask that they NOT do that….because I know it reflects badly on me…and your article confirms that.

    One thing you mentioned that annoys the heck out of me is comment moderation (and requiring Captchas in order to post one). There are blogs I enjoy…but avoid…because the commenting process is such a headache. Spam filters work very nicely. If one occasionally slips through, or they get a comment they don’t really care for, it’s not that hard to delete them. Putting an end to their screening process would make the blogs more user friendly…and they might just pick up a few more followers. I know I can’t be the only one who hates having to breach Fort Knox in order to show my support for a blogger.

    1. Wendy says:

      Kristy, I agree with Wayne, there is nothing wrong with alerting people to a good product or book that may help them.
      Captcha is down there with root canal surgery. Unfortunately it’s the spammers that have created this situation.

      Wendy

      1. Thanks, Wendy…
        As I explained to Wayne, I write fiction, so the books won’t help anyone. Maybe someday I’ll be comfortable posting a plug or two, but I’m okay with the way things are going right now.

        Funny you should mention root canal…I’m dreading a dental appointment in 11 1/2 hours (no, not a root canal…but I don’t any dental visit). As for the Captcha issue…I know spammers are a pain in the neck, but whatever program WordPress has in place, I’ve only had a couple sneak through in just under a year. I’ve had a handful more that I’ve been asked to approve, but I never have.

        It’s just time consuming to have to wait for 2-3 screens to load before your comment goes through. And I try to visit a fair number of blogs every day. Unfortunately I won’t comment on a lot of them because of that. I will like them (if there’s an option), and I’ll Tweet them, but that’s about it.

          1. I actually have them on Amazon, Wendy…but thank you for thinking to tell me. Not everyone knows what a great thing that is. And it is. I’ve gone from selling 40 books in October, to 1500 last month…and I may get close to 2000 this month. I know it’s not a huge amount, but I’m very pleased that the numbers continue to climb. That’s partly why I’m okay with not advertising on my blog. If people like what they read, they can check them out, but I won’t put any pressure on them. 🙂

  8. Wendy says:

    Hello Olga, good post.
    One thing I will never ever do on my sites is forced optin. Neither will I optin to anything if I have to “like” or “tweet” about it first.
    I really cannot stand Facebook although Linked In is pretty good. I call it Facebook for adults.
    Twitter leaves me lost for words – Can’t think of anything polite to say.
    Is social media really what we’ve all descended to?
    Thanks for your interesting post
    Wendy

    1. Olga says:

      Hello Wendy,
      You have found the exact word – social media often make us descended. We feel obliged saying something, and this “something” looks like empty “twittering”, but not the words of an adult person, who would better say once a week, but meaningfully.
      Thank you for your comment!

    2. Wayne Cochrane says:

      Wendy,

      Completely agree with you about FaceBook (and Twitter to a lesser extent, depending on the way it is used) but even my LinkedIn account gets spammed by (vegetarian and vegan) marketers trying to sell their products.

      Wayne.

  9. Stacy says:

    Hi Olga,

    What an awful experience. 🙁 That is one of the reasons that I have taken the slow path with my online marketing. It took me many months to even create an opt-in because I felt uneasy about even asking someone to join my list to get my ebook.

    I have an ebook that is available through Pay With a Tweet so that someone needs to tweet or share on FB if they want to download the book. I’ve had people tell me that they didn’t have twitter or FB accounts so I emailed them a copy. I would rather work with people and help them to be happy rather than leave someone irritated.

    If someone really wants a lot of tweets, share, etc. they should join some tribes rather than holding information hostage with their readers. There is enough information online that it’s just not worth anyone’s time to deal with someone who has attitudes like that.

    Stacy

    1. Olga says:

      Hi Stacy,

      It was so nice of you to offer your readers without twitter and FB accounts an e-mail copy! This decision seems so obvious, but – alas! – it wasn’t realized in my unfortunate affair, though there were so many people complaining, that they had no social accounts. It was an awful experience, really.

      Thank you for your kind attitude and care about your readers!

  10. Bill Alpert says:

    I’ve long held the view that that considering “social media marketing” is a waste of time for typical small business owners. Those business owners that *can* benefit from it are in most cases already doing so. I would also venture that they are using it in large part as a service to their customers, and not as a hostage tactic.

    1. Olga says:

      Bill, it is really, as you said in your last post, the attempt to stay relevant and the fear of being smothered. To some extent, it is a kind of internet fashion.

      It is strange, how things turn up something – social media were aimed for establishing connections, first of all, but instead are killing them with an epidemic of false sharing.

  11. Michael says:

    When an action is coercive, its coercive, it doesn’t matter if someone says they are testing out a tactic, it doesn’t matter if they are giving away a prize to the person who sell out their reputation to their friends the most times, it just is coercive, or I guess put another way, bullying.

    The thing about the internet is that it is so big, so absolutely enormous, that you can probably find the same thing somewhere else, in less time than it takes to tweet.

    Squeeze pages that are asking for email addresses are one thing, you can optout, or set up a filter so it dumps all the followup messages into your trash file, But telling all your friends how happy you are to be in someone’s sales funnel, when you don’t even know if you like what is being sold, that’s at least a 10 point drop on the marketer coolness meter, 20 points if the download winds up being a short report with a link to an email optin form, 50 point drop if the first email in the followup sequence, is full of reminders to “like us on Facebook” 🙂

    1. Wayne Cochrane says:

      Good stuff Michael!

      I completely agree with you.
      Refreshing to find someone I agree with! 🙂

      Wayne.

    2. Olga says:

      You are severe, Michael :), and you mentioned a crucial aspect. After opting in, there is a possibility to set a filter or opt out. Some people register junk e-mails, specially for subscriptions. Junk twitter-accounts exist as well.

      I hope, that the Evolution will naturally divide the flows of marketers and Marketers. The first ones are not to be blamed much, in fact. Mostly they are just common people, seduced by quick rich schemes and fighting for their business chance.

      1. Wayne Cochrane says:

        I have both a “junk” email account (which I use for marketers I am unfamiliar with until I can assess their attitudes and whether they provide anything useful or are just out for themselves) that I do not look at very often and a “junk” Twitter account (that has no real followers that I use for “forced” tweets without disrespecting my followers in my “real” account.*)

        So forcing me to opt in or tweet is of no real use to the marketer anyway, unless and until he/she demonstrates that they provide something of value.

        * But I used my real Twitter account to VOLUNTARILY tweet about “your” School of Natural Voice Olga, because it it something that I respect and am interested in and is useful

        Wayne..

        1. Olga says:

          Thanks for your kind words, Wayne. I gave some explanations regarding my twitter account in the reply to your message above.

      2. Michael says:

        Aiiee, Olga, now my heart is wounded. 🙂 I think about it kind of like this. Would I want to go through the marketing funnel that is being presented? If the answer is no, then I go look somewhere else for the answer.

        You are right, they are seduced by get rich schemes and lots of “masculine” sounding phrases:
        Drive traffic instead of attract customers
        Forced optin instead of try it first then come back.
        Squeeze pages, sliders and unblockable popups instead of strong design

        Just a quick trip through the Warrior Forum can bring back a whole list of words describing products that are so grossly inappropriate to use in attracting people who really DO want what you have. All sold with them same breathless style of marketing.

        But especially wrong in are the scripts and machinations to get people to promote your goods and services socially. True enough, lots of people try those techniques, and then it is obvious what their viewpoint of their potential customers is. Round them up, drive them through the funnel, and suck the cash out of the ones that remain.

        Marketing is NOT a numbers game, no matter how many people use that as a defense for perjorative marketing practices. Marketing is about getting in front of the people who do want what you are selling, and life would be so much lighter if people could realize that they get back exactly what they send out into the world.

        1. Olga says:

          Oh, Michael, my heart also started crying 🙂 when you spoke about getting people to promote goods and services socially.

          I have recently received a bunch of e-mail letters from the “members of a Club of business partners”, who found seats all in one saucepan and promoted each other and their club under the slogan – You don’t need to create your product, you don’t need to trouble your brain, just find a partner, promote his product, and you are sure to grab your thousand bucks in a month. We will teach you how to do it!

          Certainly, it is not the only team in the world, who adds a negative image to social sharing.

  12. Marker says:

    Vote first ask questions later.

    If you want to read the Naked Marketing Manifesto you must:
    “Get it for free! In exchange we just ask you to post a Tweet about it.”

    Free is meaningless, in my dictionary I have it crossed out.

    Why would anyone vote for something they have not read yet?
    In this case it was so they could read it.

    Danny gained thumbs-up and tweets. But so what?

    Do you be believe them?
    Do they have worth for you?

    The more everyone pushes social media the less worth it will have.

    Like the word free, we are tuning out social media.

    Its all just noise now, an empty echo.

    Thanks Olga for making it a little quieter.

    1. Olga says:

      Hi Marker,
      I also sometimes feel annoyed about such sharing.

      It is like in crediting activities. You are asked for a loan – and you don’t know, may be you will get your money back with an interest, or at least to break even, or you may lose it.

      “Pay with a tweet” means “pay with your trust”, and even more – “pay with your audience”. Does anybody like giving away his homestead to an alien passer-by? It’s certainly a matter of a deep, deep trust to a person, who asks to share. Sometimes it’s worth to take a risk, but in most cases it is a bad game.

      I will confess: when I found the information I needed badly and it was available only through a tweet, I registered a Twitter account (I didn’t have it before) and tweeted. With my empty twitter room this tweet was a zero result for the marketer. Back to the banking language, I fooled him with a false pledge and never came back. All he had from me was only an empty echo-echo-echo-echo…

      You are right, Marker, noise and echo, and no value for both parties… Thanks for your comment!

      1. Wayne Cochrane says:

        “I will confess: when I found the information I needed badly and it was available only through a tweet, I registered a Twitter account (I didn’t have it before) and tweeted.”

        Is this why I was your first (and still only one of two) Twitter followers Olga?
        You had only just started the account and still don’t actually use it?

        Wayne.

        1. Olga says:

          I started a Twitter account long before you became its follower and it was silent since that time. I was going to ask you to unsubscribe, when I saw that you were caught to be a follower by the twitter algorithm. Being a newbie, I created “Tweet this” phrase and didn’t really understand how it works. One more example of viral marketing. I wanted to disseminate a link to a post, but not to force people to follow me. My fault, sorry. But when I read, that you have plans to use Twitter somehow, may be I should also use it as an informer about new posts…

          1. Wayne Cochrane says:

            Olga,

            I wasn’t caught by the Twitter algorithm.
            I “followed” you willingly and purposefully.
            It was done manually by choice, not automatically.

            Twitter can be useful, in my opinion, if it is used purposefully,
            not for entertainment/distraction nor for exploitation (manipulation.

            Wayne.

  13. Awesome post Olga.

    I’ve been experimenting with Social Media for a while now and have come to a lot of the same conclusions as you. I never ever want to ram anything down anyone’s throat. Some people are sharers, others aren’t. I blog about the Law of Attraction and a lot of my audience is no comfortable being public about their keen interest in this topic. I get doctors and scientists writing me, but they could never admit this to their colleagues.

    I did one contest where I asked people to share on social media in order to enter. The response was much lower than expected. I’ve also found that a lot of the activities that help drive more FB likes or subscribers are absolutely useless when it comes to actually bringing in more business.

    I’ve realized that a lot of my audience just aren’t big on sharing on social media and that’s ok. I ‘m also realizing more and more that even if they don’t share online, they do share my info by email and one on one when they find someone offline who is interested in this topic.

    Thanks for sharing this (somewhat unique in the online world) point of view!

    Huge hugs!
    Melody

    1. Olga says:

      Absolutely, Melody, here is the secret!
      People who are not public DO share everything interesting they find in the Web, but only with the people who, they feel, may be really interested in this information. In terms of business, this audience is of much more value.
      Besides, as I guess, people, who are not comfortable being public and nevertheless are involved and write letters, DO seek some help or a service and they deserve all our attention, a part of which can melt while we are busy supporting social media “twittering”.
      Warm hugs for you too! 🙂

  14. Olga says:

    Hi Wayne, thank you for your support, great comment!
    You are absolutely right about manipulating. Once I was trapped by a letter from a well known blogger, I couldn’t expect such a trick from him. There was a link in the letter, offering to click and read the entire article. Later I found a “like” for that article on my Facebook wall. The “like” was hidden inside the link in the letter. It was impolitely, not to say more… I didn’t know how to remove it.
    After reading a lot of articles how to add “a call to action”, how to place opt-in and sharing forms all around a website – I decided to offer a simple call to bookmark after the post – and not the website, but the very exercise. It is the call only to those people, who really want to do it and find it useful. I will not ask to bookmark, if there are no exercises on a page.
    I also feel passionate about this topic 🙂
    Thanks, Wayne!

    1. Wayne Cochrane says:

      Olga,

      Unfortunately the trick that blogger played on you doesn’t surprise me. I have had similiar experiences myself. The person was almost certainly a “marketer” not just a blogger.

      This viral marketing disease is just a symptom a greater disease called “marketing”.
      I am sure Danny will disagree but to me most of what “marketers” call “marketing” is in fact attempted manipulation.

      I have spent years learning “internet marketing” only to reject almost all of it.

      I will just disseminate my information and honestly offer products for sale without any attempts at manipulation. And, if I can’t make money ethically then I won’t make money. Such is my life.

      (It is much more important to me to help people with their health and their lives than to make money. I actually don’t like selling stuff. I like to give people what they need. But of course, like every one else in this crazy civilization I need money. So I too have been caught in the ethical “marketing” dilemma until recently. But now I am finally clear of it. I will just give most of my important stuff away to those who need it.)

      Of course this blog commenting for most people is also a form of marketing.
      How often do we see comments without links to a website?
      (Although there are several comments here in this post that don’t have a link in the name 🙂 )

      Oh well, such is the world we live in.

      Heartening to discover someone else with integrity Olga.

      Thanks,

      Wayne.

      1. Olga says:

        Wayne,
        I hope that really big marketing professionals already feel where is the wind. They offer exactly what you offer – giving away the best knowledge for free, and then earn money with deeper services and products precisely for those who already understand that this is exactly what they need.

        To be fair, Danny offers a lot of his best knowledge for free, and his Manifesto is now also absolutely free, without opt-ins. Besides, if he doesn’t try various ways, how will we, his readers and community, know what works and what not 😉

        This attitude certainly creates a problem for rather-ripe fruits. “Marketers”, who have only one dilettant product, will finally find themselves in a very uncomfortable situation. Those, who really want to help people, will always find their friends.

        Good luck, Wayne!

        1. Wayne Cochrane says:

          Thanks Olga.

          Yes, there are signs that the internet is maturing and the more caring people are starting to be more prominent.

          For example, I have been very heartened by Google’s recent success in clearing some of the Marketer-Manipulated websites from the top rankings of their search engine results. ((Backlink-spamming, blog networks, link wheels, content farms etc that have dominating the search results for years [and causing me great distress because I refused to behave that way] are now much less effective and sites with genuine “content” have more chance of ranking higher.) Thankyou Google!

          And recently I am being more successful at finding marketers to learn from who have some more integrity than the ones who were dominating in the earlier days of my internet marketing learning “career”.

          Wayne.

  15. Wayne Cochrane says:

    Great post Olga!

    I completely relate to how you feel.

    Personally I hate social media. (Well I hate FaceBook, don’t dislike Twitter as much.)
    I have better things to do with my life than distract myself with virtual socializing.

    I actually do have FaceBook (talked into setting up by marketers when I was a green “newbie”, butwhich I don’t use) and Twitter (which I am not currently active in, but will be used for disseminating my health information again sometime soon) accounts but I refuse to be coerced or manipulated into buying “free” stuff by “liking” or “sharing” and rarely by tweeting. I just choose to manage to live my life without whatever it is the marketer is trying to manipulate me into foisting onto my “friends” or “followers.”

    (Yes I did “tweet” to get Naked Marketing but I did it very reluctantly and resented it and regretted it.
    I would have been better to stick to my principles and lived without it.)

    In fact I feel that the whole concept of making “friends” on social media sites in order to sell them stuff is disgusting and I refuse to do it.

    But for those people who do like to get involved in social media I will have buttons that they can use to help disseminate my information (I refuse to use that marketer-over-used-cliched word “content”), but it will be entirely voluntary on their part. They will only help spread my information if they genuinely value it.

    This is something I feel very passionate about and could write about for hours but I will restrain myself 🙂

    But it is good to know that I am not the only one who dislikes “viral marketing”.

    Thanks Olga!

    Wayne.

  16. Olga says:

    Hi Larry,
    Really, formal “tweetings” and “likes” don’t bring much to a blogger, when this sharing goes to an audience which is far from the topic. Why do so many people insist on this option?… Though, I must admit, that I also have social buttons on my website, for the sake of really interested readers.
    Unsubscribing certainly depends on a degree of disappointment. In my case it was an act of a demonstrative protest, though it turned to be a double-edged sword. It couldn’t be other way, though. Back to Naked Marketing — Love, it either here, or it is not.

  17. Larry says:

    I really liked this post. I’m not on social media except for LinkedIn and I really don’t like blogs that ask me to “like” or “tweet” or anything else. Even if I was on Facebook, asking me to do the bloggers work is a role reversal. If I get an ebook from Amazon for free that the author normally sells, I MIGHT do a review if I read it and like the the content. To the original point though, I may not unsubscribe, but it definitely leaves me disappointed.

  18. Discover Auctions says:

    Hi Olga,
    I agree with what you are saying. Marketers are now putting free info out there, but you must tweet it, or like it prior to receiving it. I am necessarily not a fan of this, as I don’t like to be tweeting something (basically promoting) that I have yet to see. If I have tweeted or liked a product/information, then after receiving it, the product didn’t live up to my expectations, I have pretty much made a fool of myself to the people that have so graciously followed me. This is definitely not a result I am looking for. Therefore, if I have to tweet or like to get your product, I probably won’t. Maybe I will miss out on some very valuable information, but it just isn’t worth the possible cost of losing followers. Great post.

    1. Olga says:

      Totally agree with your point. I would willingly share after the reading, if the content is relevant for my friends, but not before – though, with some rare exceptions, when I’m absolutely sure about the author. But it doesn’t happen often.
      Thanks for your opinion! It will go into the list of my arguments.

  19. Fiona Tankard ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    A really interesting post Olga.

    I have to admit to having a love/hate relationship with social media (probably slightly more hate than love actually) but it seems to be a prerequisite these days and it’s a shame!

    Sorry you left the sewing blog but I think it sounds like her loss.

    1. Olga says:

      Hi Fiona,
      I understand your love/hate feeling 🙂 I still can’t force myself to use social media to the full, though I try to support at least the presence of the accounts in them. Probably I’ll have to push myself harder, some people subscribe to read the news.
      Thanks for your comment!

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