Can’t Deny Social Media’s Awesome-ness
By Mallory Cloutier (@Mallory_C)
In May, a few Boston SHIFT-ers attended the PRSA Social Media Summit. The Summit’s speakers – including our own Todd Defren – were not only awesome in the knowledge they shared, but were also fortunately transparent and honest about what hasn’t worked when it comes to social media.
Below are a few important nuggets we took away from the sessions:
Social is key to any marketing program
Traditional marketing is still very alive and well – anecdotally, we’ve found that marketing is seeing a big revival. However, the speakers at the Summit showed how social media can enhance each and every spoke of any marketing program and measurably extend the reach and impact of each initiative.
In Todd’s keynote that kicked off the Summit, he pointed out that businesses spend valuable time and resources to create content, but many don’t give the same energy into creating a content strategy. In addition to building content a business’ audience will actually care about, social media can be the element that helps businesses share this content, build a more impactful brand voice and make any marketing program even more awesome.
Build a strategy that fits the business
The conversation around whether social media can positively impact a business is thankfully almost null and void. However, despite the clear benefits social can bring to any organization, its massive success hinges on the strategy.
Bruce Weinberg’s keynote addressed why one size definitely does not fit all when it comes to social. Although he mapped out several strategies and approaches that spanned the range of business size and levels of risk aversion, social still requires businesses to be open to trying new tactics and potentially even failing.
Organic engagement rules
Michelle Ormes of Staples led the B2B industry track and was gracious enough to show what worked at the company – the Small Business Push seemed especially successful – and what didn’t work. Interestingly enough, despite promotion through the company’s other social media channels, scheduled Twitter chats with Staples executives were not a hit with the social media community and were eventually retired after a few months.
All and all this makes sense – social media channels, especially Twitter, rely on genuine, organic conversation. Michelle thought the Twitter chats were too structured for their audience and found more success in having company executives being ready to answer questions all the time, not just some of the time.
Measurement: still fuzzy
Across the board, there was no clear path on how to measure social media success.
The good: with a lack of a right and wrong measurement scale, there is a huge opportunity for businesses to measure what’s important for their organization. For example, measuring social media by theme rather than quantifiable metrics can be an option for some businesses.
The bad: for some, not being able to provide measurement or any data on the impact of the program could be the deciding factor against any social media initiative.
It’s up to businesses to choose what’s best for them when it comes to social. As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on what’s worked for you and your company!