A lot people care about having a lot of “likes” on Facebook or followers on Twitter. They want to be wanted, as the aptly named Cheap Trick would say.

This, though, is an empty endeavor and sadly too many companies see this as their marketing “plan”. They see social media as the silver bullet that will solve their problems.

You can understand how a lot of people might come to this understanding. Before, a lot of online marketing took place by email. You had your mailing list, you had what you wanted to say, and you fired it off to the masses. The idea was, through enough mud and something will stick.

But people (that’s you and I) have gotten savvy. We dont just open an email anymore. We first see who it’s from. If we dont like that person/company we might just delete it. If you still have our attention then we read the subject line. Nothing of interest? Delete.

This is how people consume email these days. You need to nail your subject line and make sure that you’re someone that the user WANTS to receive mail from to stand a chance of them actually reading your email.

What marketers dont realise is that social media is just the same. Just because you’ve managed to get a post into my Facebook stream, that doesnt mean I’m going to read it. It just means that it’s in my inbox and I’m going to see if it’s something that I want to read.

So where can the marketers go from here?

Inward.

Forget about try to make social media a success. To me, agressive social media is like running up to someone and asking them to be your friend. That wont work all the time, and when it does it could be scary. Instead, focus on your product. Try and make it engaging. In fact, try and make it lovable. Then, in their own time, people will spread that love.

Arron Walker, a designer for Mail Chimp put time and love into their mascot