This has been on mind for some time now, why corporations don’t get social media. I may be way off base here but there are primarily two or three reasons why they don’t or can’t wrap their brians around what’s happening in the new way marketing.
1.) They haven’t tried, touched, or even asked what the meaning of Social Media is or is not.
2.) Don’t have a clear understanding of Outbound & Inbound Marketing concepts.
3.) Only know how to Broadcast – push, sell products & services.
4.) View a relationship as a sale only.
I’m sure this list could be longer but it’s clear to me that unless there is a simple way of helping the highly educated (constipated) executives, this isn’t going to change anytime soon. Why do a very small few get it and the majority don’t? Fear of Change, Fear of Loss, Fear of not seeing the big picture due to a poor understanding of what they are being asked to participate in.
I know a particular business owner who has been picking my brain, wants to understand the details first, make sure he experiences somekind of ROI before commiting to this new marketing environment. This would lead me to item #5 – CONTROL – there is a fear of losing control like never before, look at the music industry, a prime example of the fear of losing money. Eventually, music will be free, or at least some kind of Collective License that allows for a mutual interest rather than a monopoly.
It’s not all the business owners & executives fault. The fault lies with those who consider themselves experts in this Social Media environment, provide poor information and relate the message that only confuses them more.
This has been written about before, I’m not saying anything new here. The truth is it will never change, just as there are criminals, Internet Marketers and Social Media Experts…there will always be people looking to find a short cut to success. Most people don’t want to wait, have patience and or do the work, they just want to cash grab and do as little as possible. Knowing that, I’m not shocked or surprised at how business owners respond when the topic of Social Media comes up.
So what’s the answer? Do your homework, get a good understanding of what your prospect or client is asking, learn what Social Media is, learn Social Media’s place in the marketing mix, and above all….if you don’t know, shut your mouth or say I don’t know but I’ll find out. Don’t spew crap so you don’t look bad, tell the truth and go on the journey with your prospective client, better yet, invite someone who does understand to the meeting. This problem #6 – poor representation which means the wrong information is being shared.
I’ve ranted enough on the topic, there’s a Social Media Mess out there and it’s up to us to clean it up. If Social Media is putting the power back into the hands of we the people, then let’s make sure we are using that power correctly and for good.
Why Corporation’s Don’t Get Social Media? You tell me, I’m just one voice, one person listening to business owners in my area, what are you coming up against and how are you being part of the solution?
Every Sunday afternoon I play soccer with a great bunch of guys, we’ve been getting together at the same field now for over ten years, trying to stay in shape of course. In July of this year I took a tumble at warp speed and broke, no shattered my left shoulder at the clavicle joint. Here it is now late September and I still have not been cleared to play, do you have any idea how frustrating that is? To know you can’t be out there with your buddies, knowing you can help your team mates win. Half the fun is the strategy, who plays what position and who has the touch up front and finish the play by putting in the net. As this is just drop in soccer we get people at various levels of ability, from 17 to 56 years of age and every once and awhile someone comes out that doesn’t have clue what you can and can’t do, they don’t know the rules. So they run around all over the place not knowing what to do and never really ask for help, and when they do, they forget what you said almost as fast as you said it. Given enough time and they come out more often, eventually, they find there way and start to contribute in a meaningful way.
You are probably wondering where I’m going with this, the question is, are you one of those soccer players running around trying to accomplish something meaningful in the game? Are you playing with the Internet and Social Media the same way? You’ve setup your Blog and you’re telling everyone to come to your site but you haven’t taken the time to learn how or what to do with all those visitors. There are a great many people out there you would consider successful, but there is a far greater number that haven’t realized their 15 minutes of fame yet. You have two ways to approach the Internet & Social Media, you can learn from those who have gone ahead of you or you can try to figure it out yourself.
I can tell you from personal experience, learning from those who have gone before you and succeeded is much easier, that is the choice I would make if you’re just getting started. In fact, if you’ve been Blogging for awhile you should study the leaders anyway, learn the guidelines and then figure out how to make them work for you. Pay attention to what they do, but don’t try to act like they do…why? In Social Media circles you will hear the mantra, be real, be yourself and be honest. So trying to act like someone else won’t let the uniquely designed you to come out, and you will be known as someone who is not authentic and phony.
Everyone loves guy’s like Gary Vaynerchuck, Chris Brogan and Scott Stratten but you will never be able to duplicate how they deliver the message and do what they do. You can however, learn what they do and then learn to make it yours, learn to make it unique by being who you were meant to be. Gary wrote a book soon to be released in October called, ” CRUSH IT ” and Chris’s book which is already out and amply titled, ” TRUST AGENTS “, tell you what I just shared, be sure to order a copy and learn from them first hand.
As you can see, help is closer than you think. No matter what your niche or area of expertise happens to be, study what Gary & Chris do but also pay attention to others like Amber Naslund, David Armano, Mack Collier, Olivier Blanchard, Trey Pennington and Kris Colvin. Spend some time in the Silicon Valley circle to by watching Robert Scoble and Louis Gray. Most of the above have sites with video’s you can view so you get an idea of who they are, and what they are doing with Social Media Networks. As you can see there many to follow and learn from, but they all cover their interests and passions in their own unique way. Also keep in mind some of these people are paid to do what they do in Social Media Networks, but that’s what makes them great case studies.
– Amber Naslund works for Radian6, they provide tools for real-time social media monitoring and analysis designed primarily for PR and Ad agencies.
– David Armano, is the Senior Partner at Dachis Group, was created to unlock the value of social technologies for large corporate enterprises through its Social Business Design global advisory practice, and technology implementation program. David talks about the 5 B’s:
1.) Be Ubiquitous
2.) Be Social
3.) Be Interesting
4.) Be Remarkable
5.) Be Yourself
– Mack Collier, Helping companies understand the ” Social ” part of Social Media.
– Olivier Blanchard, trains company executives and project teams in all matters of social media management and measurement, then help them build and integrate effective programs into every facet of their business, from Public Relations, business development and market research to Human Resources and Customer Support. Oh and Olivier is working on a book that will educate you on the proper way to realize and calculate the true ROI (Return On Investment) in Social Media.
– Trey Pennington, Interviews leaders in Business & Social Media on BlogTalkRadio and uses almost every Social Media Network out there.
– Kris Colvin, is the designer of Twitterface.com and a Social Media Maven with passion and desire, Twitterface is a great tool so be sure to use it.
Whether you already have a business or a Blog, you will never stick with it and see it through unless you’re passionate about it. Gary Vaynerchuck’s war cry is to do your passion and you’ll give yourself the best chance to win. Remember, the Internet is the Platform, Social Media is the Tool you can master on the Internet. Do your homework, study how to use the tools and pay attention to your passion. In another article I wrote, called ” Your Passion Is In Front of You, You’re Just Not Paying Attention” its so simple it’s almost embarrassing, I triple dog dare you to read it.
Each person who is a success online can only teach you how they did it, not how someone else did it. Now pay attention to what I just said, they may have duplicate someone else’s system but they made that system there’s through their personality and how they think. They couldn’t ever act or be like the person they learned from, so study by taking notes, watching videos and then find your passion. The final step is to make it your own, only you can be you and only you can do it. So who are you and what are you doing?
I’ve been around the NET a while and I find myself gravitating to a chosen few time and time again, I like you tend to go back to places I find useful. I spend at least 6 – 8 hours of my day online, probably more, and I just love connecting with people, having great debates on topics I’m passionate about, if you’re like me, you tend to mix it up with those who are just as passionate.
I like to surround myself with quality people, online as well, and I have no idea if these folks respect me but I thought I would share some of my favorite online ROCKSTAR’S with you, here are a few people you should connect with and follow to enhance your time on the NET:
1.) Olivier Blanchard – Olivier is very smart and has a sense of humor that knocks you on your butt, he is the go to guy when you want the best advice on Social Media ROI. What I love most about Olivier, his willingness to help others and he has the most unique point of view that makes you have those Ah-Ha moments. I have come to admire Olivier for his heart, but he’ll deny it if you ask him about his soft side 🙂 Oh, and watch-out for Chico!
2.) Trey Pennington – A true professional, you will enjoy his interviews with leaders of Social Media and Marketing. Most of all, he’s a great guy who loves to help others. He’s an encourager and a supporter, those are qualities that I admire & respect. He hangs his hat on Blog Talk Radio where he broadcasts his powerful interviews, follow him and his show.
3.) Kris Colvin – One word comes to mind when I think of Kris, ALIVE! Every time I have an exchange with her, I think, the force is strong with this one. Kris is a sensitive, loving, caring person, I have never met her in person but that’s what I get from her when we chat online. Did I mention she specializes in Design, visit her site and be sure to use Twitterface.com while your at it. I should mention she & Olivier are Nutella addicts.
4.) Chris Penner – Chris is local to me here in Abbotsford, B.C., Canada. We met online via Twitter, I invited him for coffee and the rest is now history, he comes to every TweetUp I hold at the Bat Cave. Chris is an avid Water Ski Freak, it’s his passion for sure because he can go on for hours on the topic and never get tired of it. Chris is also in Real Estate, he is doing some very interesting things that will put him at the top of his game soon.
5.) Louis Gray & Mike Fruchter – I was pleasantly surprised to find one day that me & my Blog were recognized by these two notables this past summer. Louis listed my Blog as one of the Top 5 Blogs Under The Radar, Louis is in Silicon Valley and works for an unnamed company in Silicon Valley. Mike was kind enough to list me as one of the Top 10 People To Follow on FriendFeed, Mike is with Pierson Grant Public Relations in Florida. I am forever grateful, be sure to keep an eye on them as well.
6.) Chris Brogan – Chris is everyone’s Rock Star it seems, recently I’ve found myself going back to his Blog regularly, and I have quoted him often, plus, enjoyed his book Trust Agents so much I am promoting it on my Blog. Get your copy and make Chris rise to the top of the best seller charts. Chris was kind enough to participate on an older post called Your Best Social Media Tips. I still haven’t found the right words to describe him so I’ll just say you need to invest some time in his Blog.
7.) Scott Stratten – A fellow Canadian, I love his boldness and directness when he speaks, if you want it candy coated he’s not your man. His company name is frankly brilliant, Un-Marketing, don’t you love it? His slogan – Stop Marketing and Start Engaging! With a mantra like that you can’t help but like him, be sure to follow him on Twitter he’s a riot.
8.) Robert Scoble – If you haven’t heard of him, you must be living under a rock! He is very popular online and was raised in Silicon Valley, well connected and has a very interesting point of view when it comes to everything technology. I have tried more software I would have never heard of since following, interacting and chatting with Robert, he’s in the know in the land of Silicon. A very likable man but I’m not sure why he like’s Mike Arrington 🙂
9.) Mack Collier – He holds the #blogchat, a very active person when it comes to discussing Social Media & Blogging, just to name a few. Mack is clever and is know as a thinking man, always deep in thought and asks very poignant questions all the time. Another great person for profound, timely information, visit his site and follow him around for awhile on Twitter. A very engaging fellow.
10.) Ken Peters, Ronda Payne, Marty McPadden, Bill Mitchell, Rob Cairns, John Lusher, Sharon Hayes, Lisa Johnson, (Twitter Links) and so many more, these are the people I spend time with here online. Forgive me for not listing everyone but I think you’re getting the idea, it’s about relationships and engagement. You can’t possibly manage thousands of relationships in these Social Media Networks, but you can over time. I so appreciate everyone of you that thinks enough of me to spend time chatting, debating things that matter, and to just hang out shooting the breeze.
These are just few people I consider Rock Stars in my online world, people I learn from, have fun with and truly value their friendship. I thank you and hope that I can be of service to all those that visit me here on my Blog.
There are two questions that come up in almost every conversation I have on the topic of Social Media here in my local community, not online but offline. It never fails, these are the most asked questions I face.
1.) How Do I make or Implement Social Media in my Business?
2.) How do I make money and get the appropriate ROI using Social Media?
That’s more than two questions and alot to unpack, but that’s how they end up coming to me.
Keep in mind, I live in Canada and we typically are not early adopters on most things, we are at least 6 – 18 months behind our neighboring domestic USA. But that’s another story. We tend to be behind on what these new technology tools and movements are, what they mean and how to integrate them into our businesses and lives. So when the questions come from the executives the department leaders don’t have the right answer and worse yet they try to figure it out on their own, using old metrics and methods to generate some kind of understanding.
These two questions are hard to answer over a coffee or even in a board room, bringing in someone who has an understanding and is actually involved or an early adopter having success with Social Media to walk through some very important questions. Success doesn’t have to mean they are making millions, it means they have done many things right putting them in a position to monetize their passion or existing business.
There is many a debate on where Social Media fits in an organization, the Marketing / PR Department, HR, IT Department and so on. I would suggest to you it fits into all three. The Marketing / PR Department will most likely be the message creator for consistency purposes and also would hand off the Social Media chores to the Online Community Communications person. The HR Department would be involved for NDA purposes and orientation of new and existing staff, this would include the Internet Policy that the I.T. Department most likely helped develop. I.T. supports and ensures up time for all aspects of Information Technology needs.
I am assuming here that Information Technology was implemented properly in the organization, which means, I.T. is in line with business needs and processes for the purpose of obtaining the goals of the organizations business plan. As you can see there is much that needs to be discussed before you venture out into this environment without building a team to discuss how you will proceed. The key is to bring someone in your area that is in the know and can help your team by ensuring the right questions are being asked and that they are getting answered. This person is much like a Project Manager with a difference, he/she is a lighthouse, a beacon and a sounding board. In the end it is up to the organization to decide what and how they want to proceed.
The point of this article is not lay out what you have to do step by step, but to prompt you to bring in someone who is knowledgeable, who is respected and recognized as someone in Social Media circles that can truly assist your organization. Someone with a strong background in technology and online marketing. This person can help you build the appropriate team, that will go a long way to ensuring success in developing your Social Media Strategy.
If you are in need of help, feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember when you were a kid, you ran out the door and then heard your Mother calling, where are you going? That’s what many local businesses are doing with their customers today. If you are the one calling, it’s most likely too late because your customers are off looking for what you didn’t have to keep them around the supper table. In this picture you are behind them calling out not in front of them engaging and sharing, drawing them in building a relationship, a relationship that builds loyalty and increased return on Investments. For many this sounds like way too much work and don’t have time for this new way of doing business. This new way is happening and you will have no choice, this new way is called Social Media, resistance is futile, you will be assimulated.
Businesses today will have to figure out how to integrate multiple Social Media Networks into there web presence, their marketing strategy and above all incorporate it into the business plan as a another way of generating a ROI. Keep in mind that Social Media is not the Messiah, it is one of many tools to use to build a stronger more viable business. Reaching out to millions of consumers who thrive online around the clock requires an investment, a different type of thinking and some courage too. Many business are still wedded to a traditional marketing approach, based on TV, radio and print ads, Social Media seems harder to understand.
The biggest change taking place, or the shift as I see it, there is no gap between the CEO and customer. They now talk directly to each other, there’s no need for the middleman. Support costs are dropping, some businesses are using these Social Mediums to reach customers and save large dollars in doing so. Take Comcast as an example, for more than a year Comcast has pioneered the use of Twitter to speak directly to it’s customers. It’s Twitter page @comcastcares has 28,000+ followers. Software maker Sage North America, to cite another example, routinely receives instant feedback from hundreds of people within an hour on specific products and services. Another example is in sales, those who visit MyFICO’s community website are spending 41% more than other customers!
Businesses don’t think in terms of inbound marketing, they are very good at outbound marketing. Outbound Marketing is only half the equation in today’s new market place. A great resource to learn about Inbound Marketing is Chris Brogan & Justin Levy’s Inbound Marketing Summit.
There are multiple shifts taking place but increasingly, consumers don’t search for products and services anymore. Rather, services come to their attention via social media networks like Twitter. So if you are wondering where your customers are going, look to the Social Networks a plenty, don’t believe me, here is another example of a National pizza chain, Papa John’s added 148,000 fans on Nov. 17, 2008 through a guerrilla marketing campaign on Facebook. It offered a free medium pizza to anyone who signed up to be its fan on Facebook. The promotion gained it thousands of customers and drove its Web traffic up 253%. It now has more than 300,000 fans and hopes to top 1 million by the end of this year.
I could list many, many more examples of how businesses are winning and using Social Media to enhance existing marketing efforts. When was the last time traditional marketing campaigns garnered such ROI’s as some of these businesses are experiencing in today’s new social environments? Your customers are in these social networks and you had better be there to.
Now you know where your customers are going, the question is….are you going ahead of them?