Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Enough is Enough ... Or Is it?

BtoB Magazine's recent article "When Enough is Enough" describes how Cisco Systems straddles the fine line between spamming its existing customers, and keeping Cisco top-of-mind.

The article quotes John Coe, president of the Sales & Marketing Institute, on the role of content:

In fact, Coe said, if your messages bring value to your customers—beyond your company's latest product offerings—there might not be an upper limit to the number of times you can reach out to them.

“If you're sending information of value and relevance, you can probably do that all day long and they'll be happy,” Coe said. “That's a relationship-developer, not a relationship-decayer.”
Isn't the same true of social media?

The difference between content and spam is in the quality of the message, and the interest of the audience.

Anil Dash has been blogging about the non-benefit of having nearly 300,000 Twitter followers. (His conclusions parallel our question, "Is Anybody Following Your Thought Leadership?" When "thought leadership" is measured by Twitter followers, the answer is clearly no.)

Anil Dash does have valuable, relevant things to say--but they are not of value or relevance to all 300,000 random followers. Even major brands with huge Twitter followings have seen no increased results, Dash reports.

Sheer numbers--number of names on an email list, number of Twitter followers, number of Tweets, number of blog posts--build equity when they communicate the right message to the right people--not to the masses.

Unlike advertising and old-school PR, too much low-value communication is hurtful, or at best wasteful, because now the audience gets to say "enough is enough."

But when the content is useful, credible, and informative? We would follow tweets like that all day long.

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