When it comes to making decisions about your business and the Internet nothing is easy especially when it comes to “social media.” How many blog posts are needed to make the exercise effective? How much effort must be invested in Facebook to see a return? How much Twitter ‘engagement’ is needed to realize positive effect? Do you rely on outside experts and if so is this a wise strategy? I think it’s a terrible strategy. Here’s a better way to make social / Web 2.0 marketing investment decisions: Start with asking WHY…Marketers, please use this word more often: Why.
I argue that most marketers have failed to capitalize on the Web’s inherent interactivity. Although we often think we have, we truly have not. We’re typically too busy fawning over self-appointed Web 2.0 experts — who rarely have marketing backgrounds themselves.
Look around. A majority of social marketing experts are preaching what amounts to preschool-stage concepts to EXPERIENCED marketing executives — who too often act like this Web 2.0 stuff (listening, responding) is new, complicated and out of reach.
Jonathan Salem Baskin recently confided in me how — in the end — these new rock stars are preaching that…
Social media is so important that it will change everything, so broad that it includes anything and so profound that nothing can measure it.
Sound familiar? Why do marketers embrace and USE such nonsense to make decisions from? Am I just living on another planet where these people make no sense or am I here on Earth? Please stop!
Why ask Why
Cut through the social-bologna and boldly ask WHY. If you do, you’ll understand IF social technology has use within your business and, if so, how to make smart investments — focused on real, tangible outcomes NOT pretend metrics like “engagement.” And PLEASE stop believing that none of this can or should be measured against hard dollars.
Beyond that, entertain yourselves with the likes of BossDev who thrill marketers with presentations that state:
1) Social media is important because everyone is doing it.
2) It’s important because it matters to your business (see 1).
3) Here are all the social media logos to prove how HUGE it is — and it’s VERY complex
4) But thanks to guys like us, brands are using it — you should too
5) Here’s how businesses participate
(listen, interact, etc. — you’re stuck in preschool ten years later!)
6) You should focus on business objectives; overcome barriers
(no discussion on how to or why)
7) Here are the steps to success: calculate ROI using metrics like conversion (purposeful only to marketers, not business people) — and the truly pointless “viral installs” etc.
The big close — act like spending $25k to earn $75k “top line” is a remarkable accomplishment. Sorry, Bossdev. Nothing personal and there are many other examples out there like this one.
Sometimes I wonder what these ‘experts’ are thinking — where they’ve been for the last decade. In the words of Brian Clark of GMD Studios…
“What were you doing with your time before you realized that the whole Web is a social media?”