Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Social Media Marketing: Is It OK To Make Money on Personal Recommendations?

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Social media, and the newly acquired ability to promote and market informally via social networks of all kinds has whet the appetite of those wanting to make some extra revenue, while possibly sharing some of the revenue with others too.

Robin Good on social media marketing and credibility

Is it OK to think this way? Is this an opportunity or a recipe for losing your credibility?

Professional Online Publishing: Q&A with Master New Media Readers

Topic of the Day:

Is It OK To Make Money On Social, Word-of-Mouth Recommendations?

English Text Transcription of the Video

Hi, here is Robin Good for Master New Media.

Topic of today is Q&A with you readers. You can write in indeed and get some of your most dear topics being answered. This one is about social media marketing, sharing, revenue and profits together.

Mister X, the Dutch crazy painter, wrote in asking:

"Why limit to gain attention when you could gain participation?"

Right on! I can say nothing to that.

I would absolutely agree with that statement: try to gain as much participation and not just attention.

But I do think you have to reach attention first, and participation may come then second.

"If it is true - he aks then, - like it is true that the reader is worth more money that he can earn you via his attention, why not sharing some of those revenues with those reading you?"

Why not I say!

Because sometimes people are not driven by money.

Secondly, the money you can share yet, in this type of situation may be too little, to make it something valuable, motivating enough for the reader to participate. But other than that, definitely go ahead if it can produce value and share it back with those that contributed it. Do it!

"If it is true, as we can all see that the reader with a little simple comment can become himself or herself a producer of valuable content, why do not acknowledge such evidence with concrete facts?"

Why not I say? I agree with you, why not do it? I would absolutely do it.

"Why limit this to an acknowledgment that would appear as a public promise and then not follow up in your private and personal relationship with your reader?"

Why? I agree with you, that shouldn't be the case.

If you promise to reward readers for the valuable contributions then there should be some way that they're rewarded other because you give them more visibility, more space to see and to interact with other like-minded people, or even if you produce such tangible value because you give them some monetary return.


"Where is the minor, smaller risk: to lose a part of your earnings and revenues or to lose part of your credibility?"

Well that's too easy to answer I think you're already answering that one.

Obviously earning money and losing that possibility is bad, but losing your credibility may be worse.

"Could user generated marketing really serve as a mean to generate and share more revenue?"

And that I think might be the point where I have the most interesting thing to say, because this reader is thinking that with the word-of-mouth promotion that goes on in social media marketing, it becomes a lot easier for me to tell you "hey check out this tool, this service...", while I get a commission for this stuff, or a little bonus for it or whatever, and I can tell more and more people to do the same.

So "word-of-mouth marketing" we're all recognizing is really making inroads as a more widely adopted guerrilla marketing technique to reach people via social media, and social networks allow us to make that a reality.

And so, is it okay to think that since this becomes apparently easier to pass on recommendations and tips to others, it is a good idea to make money, and share more of this revenue profit making with others?

I don't think so.

I don't think that the moment you make tips and recommendations to other because you're making money, those tips and recommendations are as worth as those that you make because you genuinely went out of your way to tell somebody else you don't even know "look there is something good for you".

The moment that you are being paid, or being given some advantage because of that promotion, for which you're also getting some money for, that is absolutely the moment you will lose lots of credibility.

Now, if you've gained a lot of credibility in the past, and if you let me know that you're going to do this (full disclosure of your profit-making), then that may be ok. But when you're trying not to be too clear about this, this may be problematic.

So I would be quite careful about doing word of mouth marketing while you're getting paid for it.

I would think that it would be much better strategy to do lots of word of mouth marketing of things you genuinely think are great and with the authority and credibility you will gain with that, you may sell yourself or just one item that you can tell everybody you're promoting a marketing with some return on it, because everybody believes that when you say something is really something worthwhile going and checking out.

Use your recommendations to build credibility, not to make money, and then once you have lots of credibility, build some ways as well to sell and to disclose that you're making money on it.

Send in your favorite questions about new media, social marketing, professional online publishing and any other topic relevant to the universe of passionate communicators and web publishers.

Write your questions to: Robin.Good [at sign]

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posted by Robin Good on Tuesday, March 25 2008, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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