As you’ll no doubt read here over and over again, social media is important to your business. If you don’t engage on Twitter, Facebook, or Youtube, you’ll eventually go out of business. At least that’s what the experts will have you believe. Fear tactics are not so much as effective in business or defining customer relationships as they are at creating a sense of [contrived] controversy. I must be honest with you however. While social media is indeed a game changer, it is not the magnum opus of your legacy. I would like to introduce you to what really is important…your customers. Allow me to be a bit more specific. This isn’t just about your customers. This is about how a growing number of your customers are changing how they influence and are influenced, how they communicate and connect, how they learn, discover and share, how they make decisions and how they take action.
One of the challenges marketers and strategists face today is understanding the difference between a success story and an example that has true business impact. With every story and through our own experience, we are learning about the transformation companies are undertaking to migrate from social brands to social businesses. One of the emergent trends that we will soon be tracking is the move from social to experiential where social media plays only one part in the greater production of everyday customer engagement. Social becomes part of the overall experience as does mobile, web, real world, and other channel strategies that guide customers on the journey… wherever it may begin and on whichever path they prefer. The experience must be dedicated to each channel yet integrated to deliver a holistic brand odyssey.
I often write about enterprise organizations and global brands…essentially big businesses. This is the first in a series dedicated to small businesses.
One of the biggest misconceptions about social media strategy is that only the big brands and enterprise organizations can afford success. The impression is bigger businesses have unlimited resources, people and budgets to execute on all new ideas. This is simply not true. Like in anything, people are focused on their jobs as they exist and anything new that comes along, well, it’s met with prejudice.
As an analyst, that’s the questions that I’m asked over and over again. In fact it was the same question CNN recently asked in its story last week on Zuckerberg, Facebook, and Wall Street. It’s a fair question to ask and CNN’s Heather Kelly wrote a balanced and thoughtful piece on the subject. While it’s only one of many discussions likely to happen, the truth is that Facebook must focus on its business, employees, and now also investors…regardless of technicalities, follies, insider discussions, etc.
Is content still king?
According to Deanna Brown, CEO, Federated Media Publishing, “Content, in the right context, is ultimately king.”
Welcome to the evolution of publishing, where storytelling, advertising, and technology intersect. By having unhindered access to social and mobile media platforms, brands are experimenting with paid, owned, and earned media to reach connected consumers in their channels of relevance. As brands dabble in publishing, traditional marketing and advertising networks are also evolving.
In February, the team at Pivot released a revealing research report that documented the increasing gap between marketer and customers. I referred to this as the Great Divide or the “The Perception Gap,” the distance between what customers want in social media and what executives think they want. In collaboration with Barnickel Design, we’ve just released this infographic that visualizes the extent of the perception gap between social consumers and social businesses.
Guest post by Danna Vetter, VP, Consumer Strategies, ARAMARK - Part 3 in a series
Have you ever started a meeting without an agenda? Driven your car with no destination? How about gotten surgery before diagnosing a need? While some of those options may seem like refreshing changes, it’s not the way you run your business. But that is exactly what it’s like when you start a social media campaign without a strategy that ties to real business needs.
I recently presented at Microstrategy’s iCommerce Summit in Amsterdam on the importance of looking inside to improve how to engage on the outside. Following the event, I was invited to join Peter Gentsch of Big, Michael Buck of Dell, and Andreas Bock of Telekom. The conversation explored the importance of rethinking how businesses approach social media. Rather than driving social media strategies based on just clever ideas, campaigns, soft KPIs, and intangible results, I shared the importance of focusing on the bigger picture. At stake is nothing less than not only the future of social media in your organization, but more importantly, how decision makers recognize and value relationships throughout the customer life cycle.
These days, we’re running fast…sometimes too fast. Our social networks keep us connected, but in some ways they’re also pulling us away from our center. Our social streams feed us information about our friends, family, events and even the latest viral videos or trends, but the currents too can overwhelm us.
Guest post by Minter Dial @mdial on social, transparency and politics using the recent French Presidential election between Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande as a case study
Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research firm focused on disruptive technology. A digital analyst, anthropologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging technology on business, marketing, and culture. Solis is also globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. His new book, What's the Future of Business (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold and flourish in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. Prior to End of Business, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.