Is Social a “Meatball on the Spaghetti” or “Layer in Your Lasagna?”

Ok, I realize this post’s title may qualify for the most ridiculous I’ve done yet…but bear with me.  I promise it will (kind of) make sense in a bit.

I was talking with Mitch Lieberman (@mjayliebs to most of you) and we were discussing how for many analysts and consultants – social is seen as a silo, or simply something you drop on top of an existing IT infrastructure and then go to town. In short – a “Meatball on top of the spaghetti” – the spaghetti being the complex IT systems, apps etc. in your organization.

For many, this is how it is done, sadly. The ease of use, and perceived lack of any need for process or data integration has many people thinking they are embarking on a killer social media initiative – but in reality they might be setting themselves up for big problems later.

Instead, I argue people need to think of social media initiatives as an important layer in a tightly integrated IT stack – like a lasagna instead of a plate of pasta.

Social data, social interactions and social channels are the future – and simply throwing policies, campaigns and users at the issue just begs for problems. Instead, people need to think about  how the data will be collected and analyzed. Also, how will social interactions be tracked and measured for effectiveness, reach, and most important the positive or negative net effect on customers?

I think there are a lot of great consultants out there who understand the need to integrate social channels into traditional CRM and other internal/external processes in a very immersive manner. However, I am also seeing a lot of “gurus” and other types spread what I see as dangerous messages and quick-fix strategies towards social.

So, ask yourself… “Am I making more spaghetti or layering a lasagna?”

4 thoughts on “Is Social a “Meatball on the Spaghetti” or “Layer in Your Lasagna?”

  1. I appreciate this analogy.
    It is refreshing to see that more analysts are raising red flags about the necessity for process and data integrations as social is maturing as a business tool. The funky campaigns should be a by-product of a strategy, not the basis for the strategy itself. Sadly, I’d have to agree that many have already rolled too many meatballs, without building the foundation so they won’t roll off the pile of pasta.

    “I lost my poor meatball, when somebody sneezed,” isn’t just a folksy song, it is a warning that it is just that precarious. “Then my poor meatball, rolled right out the door.”

  2. Great comment Kelly – absolutely agree, and the “rolled out the door” is a precarious warning for sure. Losing site of the data and value inside social channels is too easy to do, it can slip through your fingers like sand if not captured and measured!

  3. Like both you and Kelly have said, social media is an important aspect of any business presence but it has to be thought of and practiced in a holisitic way. The whole point of social media is that it allows you to form relationships with customers in a way that is harder to do through more traditional channels – if we don’t monitor and analyze just how are “relationships” are progessing, what people are saying – it is a serious disservice to everyone.

  4. Analytical structure of CRM is not confined to CRM data only. Starting in the 1990s, companies successfully integrated back-office processes and information flows enterprise-wide by replacing function-oriented legacy systems with a single ERP system. ERP provides an essential foundation for the evolution of your IT infrastructure. Undoubtedly in order to evaluate your CRM software you need integrate with social networks, it promotes to intelligently manage sales, marketing, and service processes and to draw mutual advantages from your understanding of your customers.

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