Social media — Marketing marvel or annoying distraction?

comment on social media from
Neil Bathon, founder, FUSE Research Network LLC

Separating the facts from the hype of social media’s promise or menace has never been more important. Is social media new and different — or a repackaging of traditional communications techniques?

In this new feature page, we invite promoters and skeptics in equal measure to weigh in their opinions on what social media consultant, D. Bruce Johnston has termed, “nothing less than the transformation of how investment products will be packaged and distributed through social media.”

This week’s guest post is from Neil Bathon, founder at FUSE Research Network LLC and Managing Director at PMR Associates LLC.

Mr. Bathon has devoted his professional career to improving the productivity and effectiveness of the resources dedicated to the development and distribution of investment products and solutions.

Mr. Bathon recently commented on last week’s Social Media Memo post, RIA Steege turned to social media “to do opposite of what everyone else was doing.”

To adhere to Mr. Bathon’s own standards for accuracy and courtesy,  the following is published in unedited form.

“I am sure I am being overly simplistic but the article seems to suggest that Mr. Steege sent out an e-mail to a qualified list of prospective clients with an invite to a seminar.

“I did not pick up on (and do not get generally) the social media aspect of the initiative.

“I am all for using different mediums to reach people (phone, e-mail, website, posters, flyers, etc.). It seems like there is a desire to raise traditional sales and marketing tactics to a new special level and place mostly by the consultants and purveyors of social media services that are trying to differentiate themselves in order to build their business and gain clients.

“Said another way…if I use my Blackberry to put together a thank you e-mail in the parking lot of the B/D I just met with…and I attach a document that is relevant to what I just discussed with the broker…that is good follow-up.  But if I use twitter to deliver a 40 character thank you, is that social media?

“Maybe it is definitional. For me, social networking is where people that have a common interest and connect or link themselves with the purpose of advancing their “cause”…whatever that may be…cooking, politics, hunting, etc.

“Also, the fact that people can use LinkedIn to find out how they are (or could be) connected to someone is, for me, a neat sales prospecting tool but unless we (at FUSE) develop a deeper bond and connection between folks where they ‘participate’ in something….I don’t think we have created a network.

“Just a thought… Neil.”

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Social media directions for financial professionals

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