07 Aug Internal Issues Raised by Social Media Marketing
My dad used to tell me the main reason most relationships don’t work out is that one or both of the people involved is looking for the other person as the solution to their problems. His notion was that if you were happy by yourself, you’d likely be be happy with who you are partnered with. It seems all too simple, but I liked to believe it.
I can’t help but to think of this same concept when companies are trying to introduce themselves to social media marketing. Often times they are looking to hire a consultant or a social media agency to help them formulate or implement a social media campaign. And with this hiring, comes the aspiration for a campaign to launch and become viral, for the company to feel sales skyrocket, and for the story to end happily ever after.
Like love, social media marketing isn’t that simple. For it to be effective, there are internal issues that a company must face, otherwise the effort will never leave the ground. So if you are a company diving into social media marketing, I encourage you to take a look at the magical mirror on the wall and ask yourself:
1. Do I have a decent product or service? When I say “decent”, I mean ethical, valuable to the end-user, and up-standing. If your main purpose is to let people know about products that don’t hold their weight, social media is the wrong route. Not only will these customers point out the faults, but they will publicize them.
2. Am I willing to cross boundaries? Social media marketing can be a little edgier than traditional marketing, and in its essence is is not be as polished or buttoned up as a press release. Therefore, you must be ready to take chances and cross boundaries that have never been crossed before. This means that you must be willing to bypass an internal review or approval from time in order to develop content that will better resonate with your audience. If you aren’t willing to get your hand slapped time to time, you may risk watering-down an otherwise successful campaign.
3. Am I willing to champion internal change? Probably some of the most effective social media marketing (in my opinion) is when a company uses social media to meet the needs of its customers. The challenge in this is that these tactics often demand internal change and are met with resistance, thus requiring an internal champion to tear down the cubical walls separating the marketing team from the product development and customer service teams. This is exciting and challenging at the same time.
4. Am I willing to talk about something other than my product? Are you willing to give more than you take? Are you willing to see interactions that are around but not about your product? If your answer is no, you may want to put more money into advertising. If your answer is yes, and you are willing to take the leap into valuable discussions with your customers, then you are on the right track.
Since we nearing the completion of our book, “Social Media is a Cocktail Party” (and I have analogies on my brain) I will encourage every marketer before entering social media marketing to take a good look at themselves in the mirror. Just like a cocktail party, you don’t want to be the girl with the toilet paper on her shoe, or the one with her skirt tucked in her pantyhose. Not only will you look ridiculous, but you will make a fool of yourself no matter how hard you try.
Have any more questions you think should be added? I’d love to hear them in the comments below.