It’s hard to actually write that in the title. Is it possible that G+ could actually compete with Facebook? Check out this infographic from Social Annex, what do you think?
I was just reading about the social media meltdown of Amy’s Baking Company in Scottsdale, if you’re not familiar with it, the restaurant was featured on Chef Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares production that airs on the FOX Network. To give you a quick recap, things did not go well for the owners of the restaurant and for the second time since Ramsay has been doing the show, he walked away and essentially refused to help the restauranteurs out. This act in and of itself says a lot since in his own right, Ramsay can be pretty irascible. So for something to essentially send him packing, when we know what he’s capable of, it had to be pretty bad. Suffice it to say, the owners of this restaurant, took it to another level via these Kitchen Nightmare Youtube videos.
Watching the videos of the show you can see why. But, not surprisingly, I found out about the particular show via social media. Why? Because the buzz of the show, the videos and of what the owners did started to play itself out on Facebook. When that happens, things can move quicker than an Arizona brushfire in July. So quickly that the brush fires moved over from Facebook to Yelp and Reddit as well.
The gist or the fuel? Apparently the owners decided to respond to the trolls that were commenting about how bad they came off on the show. This doesn’t absolve the restaurant owners but it does highlight the typical flash mob actions that occur on social networks. Give them anything and they will run with it. More importantly however, it highlighted something else.
Here comes my point and it’s about Yelp.
Yelp may not be the go-to source for restaurant reviews.
Why? Well, The ABC restaurant has 1131 reviews, some of which might be good, but most are not. 99.9% are snarky, mean, negative “reviews. ” The point? How many of those 1131 reviewers actually ate at the restaurant and how many just piled on for some good old flash mob social media bashing? 99.9%
What can Yelp do about that? Doesn’t that mean you can go and bash any restaurant, anywhere? Seems like it to me. Unless I’m missing something.
Help me to understand.
Looking back on the year, it’s easy to see what was big when we have the benefit of an infographic. At the least, there’s no doubt that social adds a layer and an element to our memories. Big shoutout to Mashable and The SEO Company.
Don’t let the title scare you. it’s really a simple notion actually. It goes something like this. You’re a marketer, you’re tasked to sell something online. You know about Google’s algorithm, you understand how to optimize for search, you know that you will be using WordPress because of it’s ability to add plugins and content on the fly. You have everything that is needed except actual people, buying customers and or web traffic if you will. You decide to make it social. Or become… wink wink, social.
You’re thinking that if you meet, follow, friend and like enough people that you might be able to sell them on your product or they will find your site and buy. You figure that if you create social profiles everywhere and try and be everywhere at once, you have a better chance of selling stuff. You and everyone else!
So…Are you trying to sell a product or make friends?
What’s your intent? To find buyers or to find friends?
What’s you motivation? To make money and to sell product or be social?
We call it social media but is social a means to an end that has nothing to do with being truly social? and what’s that “media” part of the term supposed to refer to? What is being “truly social” even mean? In order for there to be harmony, success and sales, do you as a marketer need to keep swimming in social circles in order to create genuine relationships in the hopes that one day after you have gotten past the whole trust thing that your prospect/customer will eventually buy something from you the company? That’s a helluva sales cycle. Most companies don’t have enough time to wait for that! Is there a workaround for that?
There’s an old saying and it goes like this. Quit trying to make out with the person who’s name you don’t even know yet.
Maybe we need to start calling a spade a spade. At the end of the day social and search may get you in the door and as a marketer you may have done your job of using what is at your disposal, but at some point it will still come down to trust, price, value and the user experience and not necessarily being everywhere and being “social.” What if you made your intent perfectly clear in a social setting that you want to sell people something, how would that work out? Sadly, it might not be pretty. Which means that you’re back to square one. Trust, value, price and user experience.
From a transactional standpoint social might get the conversation started for both parties and in some cases it might somewhat be artificial or even superficial for both parties-but in the end, it will always come down to you guessed it, trust, price, value and the user experience. The problem is until marketers figure out a better way to convey trust, value, price and a great user experience-they’re going to have to bide their time getting to know who you are.
Are marketers okay with that?
Recently, my work required that I evaluate some of the top global brands in a certain industry in regards to internal b2b social media usage. I’ve used upwards of 7-10 free and paid social media monitoring and measurement tools to do it. I’ve looked at social data for a month and I have discovered two hurdles and one gap. I’m going to boil it down for you and spare you the pain of elaboration and if you happen to see me on the street I will give you the lodown on my findings.
So here it is:
It doesn’t matter if you’re a c-level executive, a director, a manager or the owner of a small business. One of your primary and most valuable comodities is your time. Alotting time or taking time for engagement is not really high on the to-do list right now. Though recent data says that the more social your executives are the better performing your company might be.
That’s hurdle #1. Executives need to take the time to be better at being social.
Having resources to do all the things that these companies and individuals have read, heard and want to do in social and should be doing in social needs to be a priority but is easier said than done.
Hurdle #2. Organizations are resourced challenged.
And the biggest gap? The money is not there yet but social media budgets are continuing to loosen up quickly. They used to be non-existant. In some very large organizations that I have seen, social is not a priority at any level be it in internal or external, yet. The good news for all of these? You will see them all evolve in a positive manor over the next 3-5 years.
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