Does the future of community management lie in transactions?

In our last post, we explored Pinterest’s potential for social media marketing and community management efforts. As the network continues to grow, however, some brands are leveraging the social network in a different manner. Most notable of these instances comes from Gilt’s “unlockable pins” campaign. According to TechCrunch, this new feature allows pinners to access a hidden link once a pin has been repinned at least 50 times. This promotional link remains exclusive to Pinterest followers and cannot be accessed anywhere else on the Gilt’s site.

Sephora provides us with a clear example of the “like-gating” banner (courtesy of Hubspot). 

As we consider the future of social media marketing, these approaches to community management will continually be called into question. Sure, there are undoubtedly short term benefits of these campaigns for brands. Social media managers can pinpoint the ROI of such promotions based on increased (albeit artificial) engagement. But is this transaction-based engagement truly where we want to steer the social media marketing industry? After all, it seems these transactions cheapen the community’s experience. 

Why can’t we focus on the long-term advantages and power of an engaged community? Brands need to be constantly reminded that social media isn’t a simple task. There can be a place for easy to execute promotional campaigns, but true online engagement stems from hours of immersion within your own community. As Ekaterina Walter, social strategist at Intel, writes on MarketingProfs, brands should provide compelling and interactive content. This varies from industry to industry and network to network, but it’s increasingly clear that social media is valid force in marketing. As the industry flourishes, we’ll learn to measure and appreciate the long-term benefits of sustained community engagement. What do you think? Have you tried to justify time spent truly interacting and relating to the community? How difficult was that? 

Oxford Dictionary Picks Up “Retweet”, Altimeter Group’s Latest Report [link recap]

This past week proved a pleasant surprise for us at Crowdbooster. Our newest recommendation, influential follower notifications, landed us coverage on Klout’s blog and Mashable. While we sometimes selfishly think this is the only news that matters in social media, there was plenty of other buzz in the social media world. In case you missed it, here are the top stories (based on retweets and replies) chosen by our followers.

Image via Travelpix Ltd

Social Media in the Spotlight

The Facebook Effect on Relationships, 7 Deadly Sins of Community Management [link recap]

It’s Friday! Wrap up the week with an assortment of infographics and links that generated buzz in social media this past week. 

Image via David Milan of Getty Images

Insightful Infographics