When folk talk about ‘marketing to social networks’ , you can be pretty sure (from their language) if they’re about to spam a community. The wrong way to go about it is to think like a broadcast, analogue advertiser, and think what message can be put infront of the greatest number of eyeballs.
Making that message interactive is a just-about-acceptable half way house to…
Properly engaging folk
By giving them soemthing they can contribute to
That lets folk/customers change the company & its product/service, in even the most miniscule way.
There’s a conversation going on at the mo’ ’bout ‘social objects ‘(Gapingvoid is a great entry point, as are Jyri Engestrom’s slides on slideshare (who coined the term). And here’s a cracking example….
Howies make clothes; they’re a responsible company, in every way. <declaration: today I’m mostly wearing Howies jeans /declration> So when they open their first store you’d expect a brand/web/shop social object. It’s described on Russell Davies’ blog – and involves a heath robinson contraption to print photos from Howies’ flickr group. Looks like a thing of beauty – as a marketing concept and in store (must make a point of visiting.)