The Three Ailments of Social Marketing

The Three Ailments of Social Marketing

Posted on July 22, 2014 0 Comments

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 4.33.47 PMDon't fall victim to any of these common social marketing ailments.

I am a public relations professional by training and practice, but I spent a few years as a "programmer / analyst" that helped sharpen my tech skills. That technical background helped me see the value of blogging and social media very early on: by 2004 I was actively blogging, by 2005 I was heading up the social media practice at my PR agency, and by 2006 I had founded the Social Media Club Boston at the request of Chris Heuer and Kristie Wells.

I'll admit that when I first got started in social media, I fell victim to all three common ailments of the social set. First, Shiny Object Syndrome turned me into a technological butterfly, flitting from cool new tool to cool new tool, only rarely thinking about the demographics of each or how they could all could work together.

Second, Talking Head Syndrome made me forget that social media marketing should not be conducted in a vacuum. My first reminder of this was when I bragged to a CMO about how many followers my campaign had gotten them, and her immediate response was: "Great. Now, how many sales did that generate." I couldn't answer that question, and vowed to never let that happen again. These days, it's not just sales and marketing that need to work together, but also HR (for recruiting), engineering (for product R&D), support, legal and many others.

Once I got settled into my social media routine, with Google Alerts and Google Reader (may it rest in peace) replacing my daily newspaper, I started falling victim to Fishbowl Syndrome, in which much if not most of my news, opinion and information came from the people I surround myself with online. This is the most dangerous, and the most insidious, of the syndromes, because the only time you notice it is when your filters break. Eli Pariser has a wonderful TED talk about the risks of what he brilliantly calls “filter bubbles.”

My goal for my blog posts here is to help the Progress partner community succeed at social marketing while not falling victim to any of these ailments. I’ll touch on the current state of social marketing, and its implications for advertising, PR and marketing professionals. The framework for my contributions will be the concept of integrated marketing, a customer-centric, data-driven approach to marketing that ensures that all marketing activities – both social and traditional – work together to create a seamless brand experience. I’ll touch on all the ingredients that make an integrated, social-savvy marketing program succeed. I look forward to sharing and learning with you!


Todd Van Hoosear

Todd Van Hoosear is vice president of public relations for Eric Mower + Associates' Boston office, where he helps clients in the engineering, mobile, cloud, networking, consumer technology and consulting spaces bring new ideas – and new takes on old ideas – to the market. He also teaches new media and public relations at Boston University, and serves as a Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Find him on Twitter at @vanhoosear. 


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