Top 3 Social Media Issues Defused

I’ve got some quick hits for you today … the three top issues that I see in social media today that need to be overcome.

Social Media FUD

Social Media FUD – Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt. Let’s take them one by one.

Fear – most of the fear of social media is generated by a belief that a brand loses control of their brand position and reputation. Well, you know what? It is happening independent of your effort in social media. People are talking about your brand without your involvement. So you might as well get engaged and at least influence what is being said and respond as appropriate.

Uncertainty – stems from the fact that there can not be a precise formula or procedure that defines social media success. But for those of us that have worked years on marketing endeavors, has that ever been the case?

Doubt – is synonymous with ROI in the case of social media. Everyone doubts the ROI. I love how Charlene Li addresses this issue … “What’s the ROI of a handshake? Or think of a lunch you recently had with a colleague or direct report, where you invested time and money to develop a deeper relationship with them. … some things in a relationship can be measured and managed, but many other things cannot.“ (From her book, Open Leadership, p. 76)

Bottom line: Be bolder and get over the FUD. Know your audience and engage. Build more and stronger relationships.

The Social Media Bubble Burst

There will be a social media bubble burst. I firmly believe this. It reminds me of the late 90’s and the Internet demise. Investors are throwing money at social whizzes (more technical whiz than business whiz) with expectations of hitting the next Facebook. Look at the craziness of current Groupon valuation by Google.

But the bubble burst will be on social media solution providers. Not those using social media. There are numerous technologists that are attempting to get in the game with their offerings. This past year I have looked at procuring different types of social media platforms (listening and monitoring tool, community platform, and publishing platform). I can tell you there are tons of companies in this space. Perform your due diligence carefully. Some will be around, many will fail.

Bottom line: Social media as a business practice is here to stay. Get involved in social media now or your brand will be left behind. And by the way, yes, there were no shortage of Internet companies that went bust in the 90s. But did the Internet go away? No, it is as vibrant as ever and has changed with the times. Expect the same for social media.

(If you want more info on the eminent social media bubble burst, I strongly suggest you read the New York Times article “A Silicon Bubble Shows Signs Of Reinflating” and “Invest In The Mess” by a brilliant VC Fred Wilson.)

Social Media Integration

Social media is not some stand alone thing. You can not bring in a sharp digital native to run it and take care of it. (Important part, but far from the total solution.) Simply put, social media must be part of the product/service design from the start. When you are defining your winning offering to take to market, define how that product/service is going to be shared with others. How will you engage with your target market? How will you create, reward, and retain advocates that will be an important part of your continuous marketing? How will customer service/support and social media intersect? These are questions that need to be answered by people with product management, marketing, product marketing, and customer service experience and skills. While they may not be social experts, their collaboration with your social media managers is imperative.

Bottom line: While social media may be managed by someone with applicable experience and title, it is something that everyone who is part of bringing a product or service to market needs to be aware of. The collaborative team must define how social media will be leveraged and used as an imperative channel for product/service success.

Wrap Up

In my experience, these are the three top issues that need to be overcome. It started with social media FUD. The next issue that is going to get more and more press is the looming social media bubble burst. And then from an execution perspective, a majority of people still do not know how to work social media into their organization and go-to-market initiatives.

All you need is some rationalization to address these issues head on in your organization. Need some help? Feel free to leave a comment and we’ll connect.

Make It Happen!
Social Steve



Filed under brand communication, brand marketing, brand reputation, change management, marketing, social media, social media marketing, social media organization, Social Steve, socialmedia, SocialSteve, Uncategorized

5 responses to “Top 3 Social Media Issues Defused

  1. Sunday evenings wouldn’t be the same without your insights Steve. Intersting the thought of the bursting bubble, I have come across a lot of people trying to find the next big thing or create it.

    These big things happen through natural progression and and evolution not desperation to make money. Meanwhile everyone should simply use the tried and tested tools to develop a mind set to communicate more effectively. Simple as that, I for one would be glad for the hype and hysteria to disappear.

    To then reach the stage younger users [and I don’t like using age to define this] have gravitated to, where technology is part of life rather than magical and mysterious.

    After all we’re only a box with a keyboard or touch pad.

  2. Thanks Mark – and as always, I enjoy your Sunday evening comments and additions.


  3. Brilliant perspective on Social Media by Mr. Social. Highlights from the post, FUD and the example of not letting a “Digital native” come in and run the program.

    Thanks for sharing your progressive thoughts with us. This is one of the few social media blogs that I read.

    WCN Group

  4. Hi Steve,
    About the bottom line: You imply that the *collaborative team* could include everyone who is involved with the product/service. Do you think this team could include each and every person in the company (including the exec assistant, receptionists etc.), or do you think its only the usual suspects ( marketing, branding and customer service..maybe even product development) who will play a part in this collaborative effort?

    • Hi Jacob,

      Good question. What I am saying is that it should include a diverse team that brings the product/services to market either directly or with functional support. Not the exec assistant and receptionist. When I worked to bring a new version of a mainframe product to market and I was looking to implement some pretty big changes, I learned that I had to bring a broad group together to be part of the change. I looked to literally invite the nay-sayers as product of the product launch team. This serve two purposes: 1) to get perspectives I did not think about, and 2) to get the challenging people to be part of the winning solution as opposed to being ones that never supported the change. The usual suspects should definitely be included, but you should consider others based on the two prong purpose as I mentioned.

      Social Steve

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