A Brilliant Example of Help, Then Sell
Peter Panda

The hypocrisy of social media marketers is normally subtle. But, from time to time, it walks up to you, smiles and punches you in the face. For years, most either said or hinted that you should eschew traditional advertising and just “join the conversation.”  And then they lost their jobs and clients because social alone doesn’t cut it.

The true marketers in the bunch know that social is one touchpoint in a larger, integrated array of channels you can use to reach and persuade consumers. And the brilliance comes when the touchpoints all converge to convince and convert, to borrow a phrase.

Take Friday’s brilliant post from David Meerman Scott. His post contained an astute observation delivered under the headline “Advertising is inherently egotistical.” The short piece said that you have to move beyond advertising alone to have marketing success. You have to engage, educate and inform people before you try to sell them something.


And then, right there under the post was a big, whopping ad for Scott’s library of content. “HURRY!” it read. (I added the red arrows to the screen grab shown here for effect.)

A passive reader might see it and call Scott a hypocrite. And certainly, an ad for free stuff isn’t the same as a “click here and buy this” kind of call to action. But it is an ad and a perfect illustration of how it should be done.

What a wonderful world it would be for buyers and sellers alike if we all paid attention.

Peter Panda

Pioneering social media panda bear Tagawa “Peter” Panda was born on a Chinese game reserve in 1969. He emigrated to the United States in 1987 speaking no English, with only the fur on his back and $97 stored in a Jansport fanny-pack wrapped around his waist.

In 2003 while searching for food on the campus of Washington University, he discovered a computer lab where he would ultimately teach himself web development, graphic design, and immerse himself into the growing digital media evolution that was erupting at the time.

With his trademark surly demeanor developed during beatings on his boat ride from China to the U.S., as well as having a penchant for eating vast quantities of bamboo, and enjoying Scotch and cigars, Peter is broadly recognized for coining the phrase “social media” in 2004. He joined Elasticity in late 2009 as the agency’s director of social media strategy and wildlife relations. Friend him on Facebook here.

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