For those of you who don’t know (as I didn’t before I picked it up), Giftrap is the official magazine of gift and homeware Australia.
Ok, I’m sure you are thinking:
“Giftware…she is really clutching at straws for blog ideas”
However, the front cover of the July/August edition of Giftrap is a telling trend of the latest direction all business is pointed. Wedged between two little blue birds on the front cover we see the headline:
‘Social Media Special: Twitter and Blog’s made easy’
Within its pages can be found three articles of a very introductory nature detailing how social media (in particular Twitter and blogging) can be used to boost business. Giftrap’s writers lead their readers in a tentative stroll through the overgrown garden of Web 2.0. With subtitles such as ‘Using Social Media for Business and Marketing’ and ‘How You Can Get Involved’ it reads like something that we might expect to be found in the University of Birmingham’s ‘Bachelor of Facebook’. The articles are aimed at an older market and the writers seem to have assumed that home ware and giftware retails know very little about social media. Although with the average age of gift/homeware retailers settling somewhere in the 40’s this assumption is no doubt warranted.
One thing I will commend the writers of these articles on is their insistence on the importance of etiquette when using social media as a marketing tool. No one enjoys pop ups which cover half of your YouTube viewer when you are catching up on the highlights from Dancing with the Stars; the ads which appear at the side of your Facebook page are merely an annoyance and an invasion. Marketing via social media has to be engaging, reciprocal and real. Giftrap stresses this point, which leaves me hopeful that my Dancing reruns will not be further interrupted.
Despite how basic they may seem to a regular user of Web 2.0, the articles are comprehensive beginner’s guides to the use of social media as a marketing tool. As a final thought, the prominence of this topic in the magazine shows us an increasing trend in business. More and more managers, owners and staff are turning to social media as an efficient, inexpensive way to market their product. Do you think it would be possible for marketing via social media to replace traditional marketing? It seems a far-fetched prospect but increasing numbers of retailers and businesses are sitting up and taking notice of the marketing opportunities provided by Web 2.0.
(In practicing what they preach, Giftrap can be found on Twitter at @giftrapmagazine )