netmeg - 4:05 pm on Oct 11, 2010 (gmt 0)
I think of SMM as the logical extension of the old fashioned door to door type salesman. Joe SalesDude had a route, and he would travel along the route to his regular buyers, and he would sit down and shoot the bull with them, and show them the new products, and listen to their concerns, acting as the "face" of a company that, pre-internet, they probably knew very little about. In general, he would work these back-and-forth relationships, smoothing over issues and selling product. And if he was a good salesman, his customers grew to trust him, and think of him as a problem solver, and maybe even a friend. And because of that, they'd refer other friends to him, and if a new sales dude came to town, well they might listen, but they'd stick with good old Joe, because he put a friendly face to the unknown.
That's what I use it for. Most of my clients are B2B, with some of the boringest products in the world, but there's always *some* aspect I can come up with to build a community around.
The minute I forget that there's actual human being types sitting at those keyboards, is the minute I'm out of business. And my clients along with me.