Social Media is at a critical juncture.
Well, certainly, where I have been hanging out there seem to be two Tribes:
1. The Immersers; and
2. The Waste of Timers.
At the moment, there is no intersection – the overlap, where the two Tribes might influence one another or change the hue of their orientation. The trouble is they seem be to spinning in completely different orbits. The Immersers are hand-in-glove with social media; and the Waste of Timers have either not heard of social media or, if they have, think it is something otherworldly and not worth the candle
My principal concern is the lack of (credible) information that exists that The Immersers can allude to; it is more a case of “Take My Word”. Further, the *conversation* is still stuck at the epoch of the web 1.0 World.
I must have spoken to more than 30 different business owners and managers and all them agree that they need more leads or enquiries to come through their website but none, or certainly very few, have properly thought how they might sweat the asset(s) and produce some increased results.
In fact, when you get down to it – to brass tacks – they are stuck in understanding the whole purpose of a web site and assumed, ab initio, that once the website was built that people would come.
Now this is of course a gross generalisation because some excellent IT and social media companies have been trying to fill the void but, without wishing to be disingenuous to anyone, I think a lot of them have been talking to the wrong people.
If the tide is to be turned then more needs to be done with the influencers and advisers so that they can spread the message, rather than an all out assault being made (or even a Trojan Horse being sent forth ….). These people are much more likely to be in a position to cushion the message and make it more readily understood – you know to move it into the ROI arena (even if a lot of people still think that is the wrong measure or certainly not the only one).
For me, and many others, social media should be the ‘dynamic’ that attracts or earns attention for the business or enterprise in the market (notice I haven’t fussed about the platforms: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn being the main ones right now); nor the website; nor relying on networking events; nor relying on advertisng; nor relying on PR; and certainly not, without a serious re-engineering, relying on the sales paradigm. If this happens, then sales will being to happen whether directly through the accepted channels, WOM or a new platform that is coming down the pipeline….
The owners and managers of a business need, when they are next considering their strategy or vsion for the business, to factor in the power of the World Wide Web and how their product or service can be positioned in such a way that they are a beacon of light within a very *busy* arena.
Of course, there will be many who are sceptical that trying to engage and connect and make a difference to their business but like any programme – whether sales, PR or marketing lead – a plan of campaign needs to sit right at heart of the business and everything worked around that.
In conclusion, social media should include the whole company ensemble and should not be built around one platform, one person or one programme. It needs to be thought of in the same way as any growth programme: which do we need on which seats on the bus; what is our USP; what can we do to distinguish ourselves in the market; how quickly can we pull back some of our lost sales and so on and so on.
If you have adopted a social media strategy or are thinking of doing so, I would be really keen to hear from you as to how you see social media fitting into your business.