Monday, December 29, 2008

Social Media Marketing: results and vulnerabilty

I often see companies deciding on what they are doing before articulating what results they want to achieve.

They would save much time and money by identifying their desired outcomes first.

Not: We want to blog. Rather: In order to get invited to speak at more conferences, we are our asking our executives to blog.
Not: We are building a custom widget. Rather: To drive organic search results, we are building a custom widget.
Not: We are opening a twitter account. Rather: In order to find a new channel for product feedback, we are opening a twitter account.

Naming why you are doing something changes your approach to it.

Take a company that is ready to open a Twitter account to accomplish one of the points below:

  • Find a new sales channel
  • Help customers with questions about their product
  • Understand if Twitter is a viable place to advertise
  • Recruit employees
  • Create strategic partnerships

The strategy a company would use to achieve one of these points differs from the one you would use for the others.

Next time you are identifying a new strategy, articulate the result you would like to achieve.

Even the most cutting edge strategies tend to support clear business objectives.

Barry [CMO of BestBuy] makes many excellent points which offer a different perspective on the above, suggesting that while clear goals are important they should not prevent companies from experimenting.

Here’s my favorite quote from that interview:

“I think when you make yourself vulnerable, which is what I think you have to do to be interesting in the social media space, you gotta be interesting you gotta be vulnerable, you gotta be human, you gotta say things that a person would say, and I think that’s a very different approach from what companies have traditionally taken for the last 100 years.”

Can you make yourself vulnerable in a results driven environment?

Does the relentless pursuit for results preclude the risks associated with vulnerability?


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