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.
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!