Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Over the Hype..and Into Engagement

Gartner is credited for creating the hype cycle for when emerging technologies become mainstream. With triple digit growth for both Facebook and Twitter, the mainstream audience has widely embraced this channel - often at the expense of others. While last year's question may have been 'How do I integrate social media into my marketing plan?," this year's question may be "So I'm on social media sites, now what?"

According to the e-tailing group and PowerReviews, 86% of top retailers have Facebook fan pages, and 65% publish on Twitter. What's more, a recent study found that Twitter users are more receptive to ads than other Social Media sites. So what gives with this unique audience, and how should marketers respond?

1. Marketers must let go of the illusion of control. Social Media is all about opening communication between customers and prospect with a brand. While you can somewhat control broadcast communication, by opening the conversation, you also let go of some of the control you may have had. This comes for most, with a lot of concern and trepidation. But for many brands, letting go has garnered enormous benefits, from bottom line profit margins, to new ideas in innovations, to moving from an unknown brand to the category killer, social media can be the change agent that makes an organization a phoenix changing from the inside out.

2. Markets much integrate cross-channel campaigns to social media in uniquely different ways that other channels. You can develop micro-sites, you can have triggered transactional messages based on behavior, but you can't automate conversations, and you can't predict how consumers will respond to social media campaigns. Social media begins with a conversation, a way to participate, to give, to contribute, or respond. Don't plan for the response to be 'oh that's cool,' or you haven't truly engaged this channel.

3. Marketers must look beyond immediate results. Everyone's heard of success stories from Twitter for Dell, but beyond the immediate sales, social media is about building a broad conversation with your brand and the audience. Measuring beyond followers, and clicks - how well are you engaging your customers? What new insights can you use to change direction in marketing? How about in your product? How will your brand be percieved differently because of your activity in this channel? All long-term questions to keep in mind when engaging in social media.


  1. Hey Julie Ann, Melryn here. Thought you might like this:

  2. Thanks! Me likey.