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Will.i.am, social media expert?

Here’s a new word alert! Communiting. It shows up in a bizarre AdAge column this week by Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas. The pop star writes:

“COMMUNITING is about COMMUNICATION between people and companies that enables or sustains a COMMUNITY… in the intersection of people and company’s in a conversation is where COMMERCE is found.”

Oh my.

Will.i.am is a good businessman, who wrangles great marketing and endorsement deals for his band while touring and selling millions of records. But he should write more songs, and fewer columns about marketing.

His column reads like a memo you’d write to your staff right after hearing a motivational speech at a social media conference. (I am guilty of writing such memos.) Will.i.am rambles about the miracle technology that is Twitter, declares that success isn’t dependent on running commercials, and concludes: “If your ad, marketing plan or communication doesn’t increase, rebuild, enable or empower community, then don’t do it.”

There are some good points here, but overall his advice is (how else to say it?) so 2008. In marketing, you’re always trying to communicate a persuasive message about a product or service to an appropriate audience. It’s a marketer’s job to know about all the tools available to do this. Social media is just one of them. It is part of a strategy. It cannot be your entire strategy.

And COMMUNITING? Not a word.

* * * *

Read Will.i.am’s full column at AdAge.

Photo © Christian Bertrand / Shutterstock.com

— By Daryl Lang. Filed under Language, Marketing, Social Media

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