Social Media – Idyllic dream or Something Else?

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Social Media | Steve Barnes | Marketing | Social Networking | CRM | Customer Service

Traditional marketing is based on pushing out and controlling the message but most people have learned to tune-out this type of interruption based tactics. By comparison, social media marketing is based on relinquishing control, two-way communication, building community and trust over time.

Many organizations look at social media marketing as a list of technologies to be adopted as needed (a tweet here, a blog there) hoping to achieve a short-term marketing goal. A more rational approach is to start by learning about your target audience and then deciding what kind of relationship you want to develop with them over time.

But your time is already crunched, and you’re probably wondering where you’re going to fit social media into the big picture. Instead of thinking of this as something new, look at social media as an enhanced way of doing the business you’re already doing. Maybe social media isn’t the new television, but rather the new telephone and CRM? KTR539CK4GBK

In a great post by Jason Baer, he puts it “Why would a consumer “friend” us or “fan” us or “follow” us in social media, unless they were either already a customer, or at the very least had us in their purchase consideration funnel? We need to understand precisely how the company will “be” social, not just “do” social media, and then consistently manifest that relationship between us and our customers across the entire spectrum of communication tools: our Web site, our blogs, our Facebook page, our Twitter account, our email program – and even our customer service organization.

Our strategies and expectations for social media are in reality a complement to what we’re doing in email and life-cycle marketing. Isn’t our Facebook page just a post-modern email newsletter? Keeping us top-of-mind with our best customers, engaging with them, giving them offers, and trying to turn consumers into advocates?

If we integrate our CRM and social media, we can use our social interactions with customers to learn more about their needs and desires, and improve the relevancy of our email communications and offers. Couldn’t we use our social media outposts as targeted landing pages for our email and direct mail communications? Why aren’t we asking our blog visitors and Facebook fans to subscribe to our email newsletter?

Further, we need to add the same level of testing and measurement rigor to social media that we do to email and CRM. There’s a best time to send Tweets. There’s a best time to post to Facebook. There’s an optimal structure for blog post headlines. There’s a reason that some videos show up on the first page of Google, and others do not. All of these answers are knowable, and if we commit to testing and optimizing our social media efforts in 2010, we’ll go from having a social media presence, to having a social purpose that drives meaningful ROI.”

Reference: Jason Baer, Convince and Convert

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About Steve Barnes

Marketing and biz dev fanatic. Student of the world and disruptive influence pushing the envelope of growth through innovation.
This entry was posted in Brand Strategy, CRM, Social Media Marketing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Social Media – Idyllic dream or Something Else?

  1. Scott Shaffner says:

    GREAT way to reframe the discussions Steve … where my head starts to hurt – and of course that means opportunity – is when we aren’t talking about isolated, focused single layer “social media” campaigns (e.g. increase brand awareness for Dry Idea amongst 21-29 year old Males with a Facebook based quiz and giveaway … please note I did NOT do a shameless plug for Shwaag there – doh -) but complex, multi-layered campaigns that have to take into account not just the impact on peer influencers, but what the measurable impact is on those *they* influence, all wrapped up with multiple layers of channel partners that *at minimum* need to be informed and educated about what’s being done in “social media” but even more so, will likely *participate* in the campaigns execution.

    This is complex stuff!!
    I love it…

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