Thursday, November 19, 2009

Chatting about Social Media

Bruce Spurr unfortunately social media is not the only venue for this type of "alien" reaction to new ideas. We've had several gg clients have similar trouble with branding (consistency across the organization) and creating/mainting new web publishing standards (writing style/multimedia usage, language, and many other issues).

It constantly amazes me that organizations consistently making decisions from fear. Foundational to the precepts of the strategy paradox - an organization acting out of fear fails slowly, while one acting with aggressive positive intention can fail spectacularly OR succeed spectacularly. People would rather "mitigate risk" by failing slowly then taking a chance possibly succeeding. This mentality is becoming more and more common in our society as we seek the immediate gratification (doing nothing means nothing bad happens now).

We do the best we can to help them move in the right direction, but at the end of the day, you cannot force anyone to act.

Robert Chitty Bruce, "fear" certainly drives inhibition and places a lag on leadership in specific areas. Lag presents opportunity for experts to offer solutions to close gaps and support more successful outcomes. I agree as well with your point that social media like brand management is often given much lower priority then other functions in organizations. ie: Financials capital expenditures on assets other staffed functions. My assessment is as follows: Social Media is an emerging brand building tool that has derailed traditional forms of marketing. The transformation has driven much uncertainty people hear more about major failure like mainstream newspapers crashing due to a migration of advertisers out of these formats then best practices and outcomes within online communities. This has people questioning the upside to social media and its stability and suitability for their investments. The good news is we know the younger generation is not phased about any of this and have become practitioners across the board. On the other point about brand management. Clients have to make considerable investment in upholding their brand. I look at what is diluting that effort from my perspective it comes down to shopping to consultants on term basis under the watchful eyes of transparency and tender /procurement. Unfortunately all the good work you produce can get turfed by the next service provider who comes knocking with their low pricing model or limited appreciation of all the value you've put in place. Your Brand Management Champion today leaves and you may very well not have the benefit of that same alignment with the replacement. Many factors come into play. As you know when we partner with our clients we have the most success.

Barb White, The Social Media Boomer Throughout history there has been a resistance to change. Nowadays changes happen so quickly that businesses that do not embrace the changes will find themselves left behind saying 'What happened'

Robert Chitty Barb, I'm interested in your opinion on what the single greatest tactic is to gain "value" through social media.
What is really working effectively in terms of people's efforts and their return on this social media investment. Where is cash being generated for example?

Barb White, The Social Media BoomerA great question Robert. I think that the most important tactic is to have a strategy plan and stick to it. Which social networking sites do your target market hang out? What questions and needs to they have? There is plenty of money being made on social media, but it is being made when people concentrate their efforts rather than spreading ... 

Brad Reason @Robert, people seem to think using social media generates money. It's a common misconception, because there's many 'social media gurus and experts' feeding you false info.
Social media is part network building, part customer back-n-forth communication, part promotion, and part web-presence building and company branding.

Time = money. Social Media is time, and very little money. If you invest the time building your network, your network becomes clients, projects, contracts, and sales.

Robert Chitty Barb, Thanks for your response! We have an opportunity to present a Social Media Primer to specific audiences both youth and business. I can anticipate people wanting to get to the ROI question.
I like how you have distilled the steps very helpful.

Robert Chitty Brad, This new paradigm Social Media is taken on incredible dare I say HYPE. I think people may overlook key elements of successful brand building attempting to decipher the meaning of all of this. For example who is in charge of the Social Media out reach what is the HR management of the media? Is it basic admin. duties or is it with IT or is is with the wordsmith or the CEO. Do the people in charge understand the organizations brand have they got a identity framework thats rock solid and persuasive about their value proposition that everyone agrees on and that will effectively support their brand building. What's the story people want to tell their communities of interest. This has to be factored in as Time and effort=cost. After all isn't this just one component of a variety of brand leadership procedures that need to be managed. I agree with your point that making money from this as a immediate gratification could be leading people to false hopes.. I am grateful for your response to this thread. RWC

Brad Reason I fully agree with you Robert. What you've pointed out is what separates the professionals from the amateurs.
Joe Schmoe with 20000 contacts, a group page, a fan page, and constant status updates is not a social media marketing professional.

Everything you mentioned above is now a new factor. Traditional marketing and branding now needs to be combined with new media, social media, social marketing.
Perhaps its the same people that once were your marketing department... but probably not... It takes a intelligent savvy mind that understands what it means to represent a company professionally as well as understand the concepts of marketing, advertising, and promotion.

take for example, your average company that's been around for 50 years. they have a marketing department. If that marketing team has not brought social media marketing to the table yet, it's time to bring in fresh meat to add them to the team.

Some of it is 'hype' ... but isn't all advertising and promotion 'hype' in the first place? The fact that so many people are believing this 'hype' that social media is working... it has to make you think there's validity to it.

Look past the 'what are you doing?' question on twitter. and look past the 'I have 1000 friends on facebook'
Each of these social media outlets are accessories, tools, extensions of where your brand and company can go.
And most of these tools are free... Why not use them.. and use them wisely.

If you'd like to take a peek at my facebook page, or my linkedin page, or my blog... you may get an example as to how I have used social media effectively to create revenue.
And I'm just one example, doing one niche form of talent. Social media is available for anyone, any company, offering anything.....
and the professionals, who know how to utilize, while making a company look the way it should, are the ones finding the success.

Robert Chitty Brad, I will throw you my linked iN and Friend on FB invites. 
I like the straight goods approach.

Barb White, The Social Media Boomer Brad I totally agree with you, re the new 'guru's of social media, and the large money making claims.It is possible to make money from social media, but for the business world it's more about embracing a new form of marketing and communication. It is becoming an important aspect of marketing and branding, but is not the whole picture. Businesses need to get away from push advertising, and get back to relationship marketing and selling, as well as more transparent communication when things don't go as planned.

Brad Reason Personally, I love social media marketing 100x more than traditional marketing. I used to have to listen to print newspaper sales people try to sell me 5 lines of space for $500.. then hear about how they can 'hook me up'... or I had to listen to BS stats from sales people about why it's so important for me to have my blurb in a magazine.

Now, it's about creating your own worth, connecting with other like-minded people in the same boat who are also creating their own worth, and then supporting each other, finding ways to help, support, and pay it forward. Helping people feels like such a wonderful way to advertise and marketing. It's a great feeling helping out a company that is also wanting to help you out at the same time.

Now, I don't need to listen to bunk stats, and why I need an ad in the sunday paper from a salesman. Now I can send out a message 'hey I need help' and have thousands of people respond with 'I'll help'... meanwhile I can also shout out 'hey, I'm willing to help' and have a thousand people reply, 'hey, I need help'

The money flow and profit is indirect, but the exposure and reputation is very direct. Having a great online presence with a cohesive force of other quality people online is a monumental asset to have.

Robert Chitty Brad, Hey I need help on my blog..
Hope your Online time is prosperous!...

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