By Scott Levine, VP, Strategy
Can you imagine the chatter that must be going on behind closed doors at the top corporate boardrooms across the land? “We have a blanket marketing campaign with heavy advertising support, direct, tele, broadcast, online all in a media blitz in an all-out attack on the target.“

“But wait!” the social media marketing director chimes in, “We need to make sure that we encourage good to excellent sentiment while we’re doing it.”

Good sentiment? Why are marketing teams everywhere wondering and worrying about creating good sentiment? A new discipline in social media marketing has become trendy amongst the top enterprise corporations, and that discipline is Social Media Audience Marketing, or Sentiment Marketing. Listening to your audience is what social media is all about. While the shock and awe tactics of push marketing bombard the targets with the best that interruption marketing has to offer, the pull marketing of social media is listening, evaluating, cajoling, nudging, suggesting and interacting with the targets to pull them into the sales funnel.

How then, one may ask, can a marketing department blast away on the push marketing front, yet be conscious of good sentiment on the pull marketing side? The balancing act is no easy accomplishment. Try a little too hard to engage your audience on the pull side and you’ll be accused of pushing. Push too little on the push side and your campaign will fall flat, missing your mark. Even the greatest and most actively involved social media marketers consider this the holy grail of balance.

Often times, separate and quite different campaigns are constructed to accomplish independent goals for the same goal under a larger umbrella campaign. The traditional marketing avenues push with the shock and awe tactics available to them, and the pull marketing folks gently suggest that their audience at least consider their product or service by trying to find common topics with which to engage them in conversation.

The leading social media listening services format their reports based mostly on the sentiment of the public regarding their product, or service or company profile. It would be catastrophic if your audience’s sentiment towards your company is bad. What is the sentiment of your audience regarding your new product? How do they feel about your new service? Have you been able to convey your message via social media without alienating people who prefer to be pulled rather than pushed?

What once was a militaristic assault on the target, has now become an assault with analyst’s mentality lurking in the back of the minds of the marketing departments. “How will the audience feel about this? Will this offend them? Will they be put off by our social media message in this campaign? Will it backfire or can we coordinate the same message the push marketing team is conveying while maintaining good sentiment?”

An important warning to all marketing professionals reading this: Learn to balance carefully, because your next campaign must have all of the shock & awe push marketing attributes, while maintaining the pull marketing mantra of good sentiment amongst your audience.

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