Paul Gillin on Social Media and Direct Marketing
Boldt: What direct mail sector, if any, is doing a decent job with social networking?
Gillin: Nonprofits. They are so cost-challenged that they are always looking for more efficient ways to reach people. Nonprofits often have passionate members, so you're going to have a lot of success getting those people to join a network and interact with others. Social media is a low-cost channel; you don't have to deal with government regulations and compliance issues.
Boldt: Is there any risk attached to this?
Gillin: Sure, because you can't control what people say, and people have a megaphone compared to what they had a few years ago. If it's not a true dialogue and you're just spraying marketing messages at them, they will react, and will react decisively, and you won't like what they [do]. It demands an open, transparent conversation with people; you can't have hidden agendas and try to sell them something because not only will they walk away, they will also make nasty comments on [these spaces on their way out].
This article originally appeared in the May 2009 issue of Inside Direct Mail, a sister publication to Target Marketing. To learn more about Inside Direct Mail, visit www.insidedirectmail.com.