The Demands of Social Media

There is a drove of companies flocking to social media right now, especially in B2B media, healthcare, and of course consumer products. There’s no doubting the magic that happens when brands build meaningful relationships with customers via social media.

If you’re among the people taking a good, long look at making the dive into social media, make sure it’s an effort that’s set up to succeed.

I’m proud to say that right now, my ABM Media Marketing committee is putting the final touches on a Web 2.0 best practices whitepaper. It focuses on educating B2B media companies about various social media and Web 2.0 tactics and technologies. In the process of putting this project together, I talked to several leaders in the industry about what’s needed in order to make social media efforts successful. Joe Pulizzi, founder of customer publishing dynamo Junta42, made this all-to-true statement:

B2B media companies now need people who live in social media all day, every day. They need a Chief Conversation Officer who follows online conversations about their brands, monitors Twitter and Google Alerts, and comments on key blogs.

Many don’t realize the effort required to make social media successful — it’s not as simple as creating a Facebook group or creating a blog and seeing the interaction blossom. It’s about living and breathing your industry, through the lens of social media, for hours every day. It’s about becoming part of conversations about your business wherever they happen — on other websites, other blogs, LinkedIn groups, Facebook discussion boards, Google Knol, Twitter, and anywhere else. It’s about being a proactive force all over, not being a passive voice on your own website and expecting people to come to you. It’s about making the interaction with your brands feel personal and real — without marketing copy or the corporate platform. It’s about honest conversation and knowing (and playing by) the established rules and expectations and dealing with opinions that differ from yours. It’s about making a commitment to spend the time required to make it work, and be patient for the amount of time it takes for genuine trust and interaction to build.

Make sure you know the effort required before you charge ahead. Your customers will hold you accountable if you don’t.


7 Responses

  1. Thank you for your kind comments about my continued to efforts to better myself through the discipline of trying to post everyday. I have always enjoyed reading your words and learn something every time…which, for me, is the whole point.

    Your post here is exactly right about being proactive using social media. I have had several larger clients ask me about using these methods. It’s working for people personally because they USE it. If companies (large and small) don’t become an active participant in social media, they’ll be disappointed in the outcome. With so many way to connect to people, you can’t sit by the pool anymore…you have to learn to swim!

  2. First of all, I look forward to your Web 2.0 best practices whitepaper. Sign me up.

    I love the passion with which you communicate your opinions and views. And I agree wholeheartedly — for a company to succeed in today’s social media marketplace, they need to be involved. And stay involved. (And add value.)

    For me, the most important point in your post is actually in the last paragraph.

    Too often today, companies are getting distracted by all the “innovations” in social media. Things like Twitter and Facebook are what I like to call “the big shiny objects.” Companies need to keep from getting distracted by these innovative, yet not-always-valuable activities. It’s our job as brand managers and ambassadors to keep a pulse on what’s happening on the market (on behalf of our brands), and involve our brands only when and where it is appropriate, and only when and where real value can be added to the conversation.

    Focus is everything; more often than not, less is often more.

  3. Well-said about the shiny objects. It is definitely about finding the real value — and if you’re not in there every day, you won’t know where to find it.

  4. […] in the past I’ve focused on things like measuring social media ROI and the demands of doing social media right. I took a good, long look at a couple articles recently that I want to pass along, since they […]

  5. […] your marketing messages based on customer knowledge? Are you innovating your tactics? Are you a thought-leader in social media? Are you reading about what technology is coming next and preparing now to evolve your tactics in […]

  6. […] in conversation with and between customers — you need to start doing it now. I’ve been saying that for a while, so I’m actually tired of saying it. More importantly, become a creator of branded content […]

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