Ok so by now we all know the hows and whats of social media and social media marketing. At least, we better. Hell, I’ve written a books worth of articles myself on the subject. And lately we’re all writing about how to use social media in a down economy. Or whether social media can survive the meltdown. Or how to use social media to deal with the crappy economy. It seems everyone has their take on what to do. Scoble says we should listen.
The Buzz Bin says keep a cool head and keep morale up. We can even go to extremes and ask Will the Recession Spell the End of Web 2.0? or we can go to the opposite end of the spectrum and be forthright and ask whether you would tell your employees and customers how bad it is? Don’t get me wrong, those all are great and relevant posts, but we gotta move on. So let’s take this to the next level.
Seriously, you do not have to look far to read another article about how one can use social media to improve their marketing, or how bad it is out there. Between the two, We get it. It’s in our face all day every day. But now, it’s time to get serious.
Scenario one: I’m a big company and I don’t have time to be pitched and I don’t have time for social media marketing initiatives to ramp up, but I’m willing to try them. What can your social media marketing campaign, Mr. Agency/Marketer/In house CMO do for me right now? What can we roll out that will show immediate results?
Scenario two: I’m a marketer/agency. I now do not have the luxury of educating you Mr. Big Company on what social media is and how it can benefit your company- I now have to show you direct ROI with a timeline that is reasonable and cost effective. What’s your plan? And do you trust me? Because my ass is now on the line.
So wutcha gonna do? Do you have a plan? Playtime is over.
Even our “friends” over at Forrester have said, “quit dippin the toes and invest only in programs that can deliver on measurable metrics.”
So what are the programs? Do you even know? You can’t manage what you can’t measure. Page views and traffic aint gonna pay the bills. Talk to me. Do you have a plan? Which of these below can make you or your client money?
Very timely post considering we’re in planning stages for 2009 budgets. The temptation is to pick a technology and run with it, but the bigger question that needs to be answered is how willing a business is to see these programs through. It starts with understanding your clients and all that work that is needed.
I fall under scenario two personally. I’ve spent a lot of time educating clients on what is out there, we are now breaking the huddle, they just need to call the play so we can score some points!
@shailesh, you’re right, it’s time to brak the huddle.
Be where your customers are. Programs? More like part of how we talk and write across media. What is your goal? What do you want to accomplish? That comes first. Then go ahead and create a strategy to get there. Agree on what success means to you and your company: less people writing negative stuff about you? More people talking with you? And so on. Keep track of it, be attuned, tweak, learn, keep going.
Really, Marc it does depend on the company. Some organizations cannot even begin to listen internally… all the way to a moderate place in between. Companies tend to be in two businesses: (1) making money; (2) managing risk. Period. To me getting serious = skin in the game.
When I first raised questions about how online communities are built, I faced fierce opposition with a full list of groups, say Facebook, as the biggest counter-point. They are right, they have groups and many of them easily chalk up anything from hundreds to thousands of fans.
I am not at all thrilled by metrics. You have the groups, but are companies engaging them? In my environment where PR agencies and marketing consultancies are metric-obsessed, you can say it’s nightmare at where I am. Who ever cares about the fundamental objectives? Who ever cares about interactive nature? Who ever cares about the deeper values? Hardly any.
@Valeria It does depend on the company, but you can listen, evaluate, think and plan and strategize, but at some point, like Shailesh said, you have to break the huddle and dip the toe. I’m not saying blindly, but we all do have to get off the sideline and into the game.
@Ed To my point, what people maybe most concerned with these days, its the shortest route to making money-whether that is the route of social media remains to be seen.
It really comes down to a simple phrase that Jason Calacanis mentioned at the Silicon Valley Insider a while back and I heard echoed two weeks ago at the New Marketing Summit outside Boston:
Fire your PR firm.
Now, this has a grain of salt attached. This assumes your PR firm, Mr. Big Business, doesn’t know the difference between Twitter, Yahoo Messenger, and text messaging and the approximate demographies and benefits of each.
Most PR firms, like most big businesses, separate new marketing from old marketing. If that’s true with Mr. Big Business, the PR firm must be fired and I or you or someone else must be hired at a fraction of the cost to propel the same message at a fraction of the cost but receive 3 to 5 to 10 times as many inbound leads and sales.
I’ll make money by saving the company money. Is that enough of a ROI to take a risk?