I listened/watched Perry Belcher’s webinar, How To Finally Monetize Social Media, which I’ll call the Belcher Method. There was a lot of good stuff in it, but I have some minor reservations. I mean, there’s no denying that it has worked for him, and the basic concept seems sound, but now that it’s out of the bag … well I wonder how well it will continue to work, both for him and for others.
It’s sort of like doing market research by observing a target group of people in the grocery store. As long as they are unaware of why you’re watching them, whether they notice or not, you can get a good idea of which grocery products perform well in that market. But once they know WHY you’re watching them, your results can easily become skewed and tainted.
I wonder if this same phenomenon will now occur in social media. Where careful, indirect marketing via the Belcher Method has worked well in the past, will it continue to do so in the future now that people know what’s happening?
It may. The Belcher Method is basically based on trust. Where his followers trust his posts and will follow links because they always lead to content. Even the “marketing” tweets lead to interesting content rather than some squeeze-page.
But will it continue to work now that his followers know that he’s marketing to them? Does this affect the trust they place on the links he tweets? This may not cause any actual mis-trust, but it may introduce a level of … hesitancy … regarding content being linked to.
Whether or not there is any actual dip in the effectiveness of Perry’s social campaigns, I doubt the affect would be long-term. As long as Perry and those using the Belcher Method continue to be consistent in only tweeting good content, any damage done to their trust level should be negligible.
As with the earlier example of market research, once people forget why you are observing them, they return to their normal patterns and your research begins to yield valid results again. So although the social markets may currently be aware of the Belcher Method and be a bit wary, this wariness should evaporate as those following the method continue to provide nothing but good content — even if some small portion of that content ultimately leads further, to products being sold.