Social Media – campaigns or relationships?

Image credit: Ley Photography

Image credit: Ley Photography

Brand sponsored social media campaigns are popping up everywhere. From SeaWorld, Starbucks, and Dunkin’ Donuts, to Cadbury, A&E, and even Universal, it’s officially the hot trend to replace or supplement traditional marketing campaigns with social media.

According to Forrester Research’s  Social Technographics update 76% of all US Internet users are active on social media and 93 of them expect companies to have a socal media presence.  A presence – not pass by occassionally with a marketing campaign that begins and ends.

But some marketers pay only lip service to the new media environment. The fact that they’re conducting campaigns with a start date and an end date shows that they view online  in the same way they see other channels.

Talking about the Maybelline Lash Stiletto campaign Kristine Cavanaugh of Social Arc says: “I built amazing relationships with bloggers and I actually felt a bit sad at the end of the campaign.”  P&G did the Crest White strips campaign on Facebook and gathered 14,000 college kids as fans – and then it ended.

Huggies on the other hand have partnered with Circle of Moms to create Huggies Zone, a social media program that’s built around engaging with potential customers, not just trying to market to them.  The content on Huggies Zone will include an expert advice column, a mom-to-mom forum with relevant tips, age specific diaper information, parenting polls, and ways for parents to share their baby photos, reports Mashable.