These days, everybody’s touting the importance of engaging clients through social media. Form communities! Get talking! Create buzz! It’s all good! But is it? Can B2B companies go overboard in their quest to attain a vibrant community online? In other words, is it possible to party too much?

Well, Francois Gossieaux thinks so. His recent post at the Emergence Marketing blog presented the scary thought that, “Even with a vibrant community, you may still fail.” Uh-oh.

Gossieaux presented two main reasons why vibrant online communities might not achieve the goals they were set up to deliver:

1. You are getting the wrong ideas from your community. One trap Gossieaux identifies: the use of incentives to get client feedback. Yes, some clients who are attracted by an incentive will certainly reply, but are their responses “really the ideas that will make a difference in your new product innovation?”

2. You are getting too close to your community members. “There is such a thing as listening too closely to your customers,” he says. “In new product innovation,” he notes as an example, “there is a huge difference between what is being said and what is being meant.” He reminds us that “it is a known fact that [changes] based on direct customer feedback lead to incremental innovations at best.”

Party in moderation. While participating in social media is a great way to engage clients, remember that it’s only one part of a vital marketing mix.

Source: Emergence Marketing