Marketing Through Social Media Like Herding Cats ? Rich Meyer Online Strategic Solution March 2011
Social media is part of the evolution of the Internet I dislike the term “social media.” It is a misnomer that has caused a boatload ofconfusion. It has led managers, marketers, CEOs, and CMOs to think they can use social networking sites to spread their message the same way they usetraditional media platforms like print, radio, television, or outdoor, and expect similarresults and returns. But what we call social media is not media, nor is it even a platform. It is a massive cultural shift that has profoundly affected the way society uses the greatest platform ever invented, the Internet. The Thank You Economy (Gary Vaynerchuk)
But the business world is not there yet. Some are but most still have a long long way to go
Even though a lot of people are using social media
And social media has become a keypart of the purchase decision making process
Social media is not just about the younger generations
But marketing through social media can be like trying to “herd cats”
Because brands are still struggling to link social media to ROIHow do take these …and covert them to this ?
And too many MBA’s want toquantify everything on a spreadsheet
And there are a lot of barriersto implementing social media
So should you invest in social media ?When you spend money on social media, you’re not actually investing in a platform—you’re investing in a culture, and in consumers who can ultimatelybecome your brand ambassadors. Businesses that aren’t able or willing to join the conversa5on will likely see their balance sheets suﬀer, and catch hell from Wall Street. That’s the best-‐case scenario. Worst case, they aren’t going to be in business much longer.
Yes ! Because the conversations are happening everyday
And consumers are talking about your brand Consumer expectations are changing dramatically, and social media has altered everything about how companies must—MUST —relate to their customers. From now on, the relationship between a business and a customer is going to look very different from the way it has looked in the recent past.
Unfortunately change can take a lot of time to acceptUnfortunately, a lot of business leadersand marketing professionals can’t seethat change is here. (Not coming. Notaround the corner. Here.) They look at the business being done on Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare, and saywith contempt, “Prove it.” Or they treat social media like just another mass channel that replaces the Sunday paper coupons
And there are challenges to managing change• Unfortunately, many CEOs are afraid of implementing change, even when it’s for the best long-term good of the company. Many leaders can’t afford to worry about the long term, because their survival (and their bonus) depends on short-term results.• Wall Street puts CEOs in a near impossible situation, as described by Chris Trimble, on the faculty at Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth: “I’ve had CEOs tell me that ignoring Wall Street is the only way to do the right thing for the company’s long-term future. They choose to invest in innovation, take the short-term punishment (in the form of a declining stock price), and hope that the punishment is not so severe that they lose their job.”
But the coming was foretoldSocial media’s arrival was simply the catalyst for a revolution that was already brewing in the minds of consumers sick to death of feeling isolated, unappreciated, and ignored.
So what is social media anyway ?A conversation and relationship basedon trust.• How do people decide they like each other? – They talk. – They exchange ideas. – They listen to each other. – And eventually, a relationship forms.• The process is no different for building relationships with customers.• At its core, social media requires that business leaders start thinking like small-town shop owners. People don’t talk about things they don’t care about. So it’s up to you to make them care, which means you have to care ﬁrst.
Social media lets you get closeto every customer to say ‘thank you”• People want this level of engagement from the companies with which they do business. They always did, but they lost the power to demand it. Now they have it back, and they’re indulging in that power.• Even the best of what formerly passed for good customer service is no longer enough. You have to be no less than a customer concierge, doing everything you can to make every one of your customers feel acknowledged, appreciated, and heard.• Succeeding is not about simply being nice and selling in an inoffensive way. Anyone can do that. It’s about taking every opportunity to show that you care about your customers and how they experience your brand in a way that is memorably and uniquely you.
The key to social media success• It won’t be because of the platform; it will be because you acknowledge that culture and consumer expectations can change.• You are more adaptable and flexible than your competitors. If you apply social media correctly, your customers will buy more, they will be more loyal, they will spread your message, and they will defend you should you ever need them to.
Most excuses are from not understanding social mediaThere’s no ROIWhen faced with two equal choices, people oftenbuy for no other reason than they associate onechoice with someone they know. The ROI of acompany’s engagement with a customer scales inproportion to the bonds of the relationship. WhenNielsen conducted a study on what drivesconsumer trust, the results were clear: almost 70percent of people turn to family and friends foradvice when making purchasing decisions. – There is proven ROI in doing whatever you can to turn your customers into advocates for your brand or business. The way to create advocates is to offer superior customer service.
And they’re being reused over and overThe metrics aren’t reliable.• The tools for tracking and measuring social media initiatives are becoming increasingly sophisticated and reliable.• You can’t however use data apps to gather ROI. You need people who can translate the data into observations, recommendations and how your social media program is driving brand objectives.Social media is just another trend that will pass.• Yes as so was the Internet when it first started.We need to control our message.• You can’t control the message; that ship has sailed• You may not be able to control the message anymore, but you can absolutely control the tone in which the message gets played.
Excuses can lead to a dead endWe tried it; it doesn’t work.• Social media is a long-term play, which is why the majority of the companies that have tried it have failed to reach their potential.• Until managers and leaders are rewarded for long- term instead of short-term thinking—or, at least, in addition to short-term thinking—there will be no incentive to be patient.The legal issues are too thorny.• You hired your legal department to protect you; its job is to be conservative and risk averse…to keep the company as safe as possible. That’s why change has to come from the top.• Only the CEO or another leader of the company can sit down with the legal department and say, “This company is embracing social media. Instead of focusing heat-seeking missiles on perceived fatal flaws in this, let’s figure out how to take an acceptable risk and make it possible.”
Is social media going to save your brand ?Social media is NOT going to save your brand but consumers are using social media and they expect you to be there.
No, social media is best whenintegrated as part of your overall marketing
Think about what you’re about to do. Don’t just implement
And today emotional brand connections workSocial media works best when you evoke an emotion in the people to whom you’re reaching out. It pulls.
So then… Layering social media on top of traditional media to extend the story isthe most practical, executable, and measurable marketing move you can make today.
Who the hell are you ?Richard Meyer (firstname.lastname@example.org)• 17+ Years in marketing consumer and healthcare products• MBA Marketing• Http://www.newmediaandmarketing.com• http://www.worldofmarketing.com• http://www.richsmanagementblog.com• http://www.richardameyer.com• http://www.twitter.com/richmeyer• http://www.facebook.com/richardameyer• http://www.linkedin.com/in/richardameyer