Navigating the High Seas of Social Media

I would venture to guess that any sales, marketing or really anyone involved in customer-facing departments who have been considering social channels has at one time thrown their hands up in the air and yelled (even with an internal voice) “I Give Up!” over the past year.

I really do not blame you. There simply has been such an utter explosion of sites, sources, networks, channels, engagement expectations, etc. that it is hard to keep up.

And, I would argue, the tools we are using and the guidance given is not much of a help. I mean, look at the latest version of the Conversation Prism – an interesting chart that tries to be inclusive around social channels. But in my opinion, this chart is more of a scare tactic that legitimizes the existence of BS social “gurus” and other social modern-day charlatans.

Take a look at this thing – it makes eye charts look minimalistic:

Yeah – this is not a joke.

So…what are companies looking to expand into social supposed to do?  Just let it all pass them by?  Of course not. But I would argue that the wide diversity of potential social channels is not all that much different than traditional marketing.

Look, are you advertising in EVERY magazine or trade journal or web site? Are you going to EVERY trade show?

The fact is, we usually do not penetrate 100% of any available addressable market. The cool thing is, we can pick and choose or otherwise opportunistically go after social channels with much less up front cost than traditional channels. I believe this is true for both sales/marketing and customer support.

The easy answer on where to begin?  Well, it is not all that easy (or is it?). Listen to your customers, have conversations (both online and offline) to learn where and how they wish to engage, then make investments according to those answers.

As this scary chart shows – there are a lot of ways to engage with customers. No one will master all of these – so try to find the ones worth tackling, and then make your game plan.

3 thoughts on “Navigating the High Seas of Social Media

  1. Great thought,
    Adding to the woes are the dummy social media gurus who are just trying to take advantage of the situation and giving generic info to their customers thereby confusing the customer more than the value these dummies would add(if any at all).

    Then their is a problem of too much noise in the social mediums, you need to be pretty careful while designing your strategy

  2. Ishwinder – good points. I think there is a lot of noise coming from many angles. The social gurus place a lot of fear into the minds of marketers – making it seem like any company can fall into a “United Breaks Guitars” scenario – which may or may not be true.

    But you make a strong point when noting that you simply need to be careful, take time and discover the right mediums/channels and influencers in your brand’s circle and you should do fine…


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