Making social media marketing about people

social-media-noise-300x225-120x120Seth Godin said “every company at a certain stage ends up with two sorts of employees… some that work hard to improve the experience and value for the original customers, and some that tear down that experience and value in order to please shareholders in the short run.  It’s not surprising, but it’s sad.”.   That pretty much sums up why there is so much really bad and irrelevant social media marketing; it can’t be just about you, it has to be about people and having someone administer your social media as a real person not a salesperson.

MIT Sloan, in a report called Embracing Digital Technology said that companies routinely invest in technology, and too often feel they get routine results. Technology’s promise is not simply to automate processes, but to open routes to new ways of doing business.  New ways of doing business? But what about our processes and office politics?

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The key findings from their survey are:

  • According to 78% of respondents, achieving digital transformation will become critical to their organizations within the next two years.
  • However, 63% said the pace of technology change in their organization is too slow.
  • The most frequently cited obstacles to digital transformation was “lack of urgency.”
  • Only 38% of respondents said that digital transformation was a permanent fixture on their CEO’s agenda.
  • Where CEOs have shared their vision for digital transformation, 93% of employees feel that it is the right thing for the organization. But, a mere 36% of CEOs have shared such a vision.

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Many companies struggle to gain transformational effects from new digital technologies, but also that a significant minority of companies have developed the management and technology skills to realize the potential of new technologies.  Even in a connected world, it takes time, effort and willpower to get major transformative effects from new technology. Unfortunately, not many brands have the time or patience to really understand digital marketing.  Look no further than the wasted dollars that are flowing to social media agencies for messages that have a shelf life of less than 3 hours.

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Direct Marketing News shows how much pressure marketing executives are under.  According to them some 58% of marketing organizations are now expected to drive growth by CEOs, says a study released over the weekend at the Association of National Advertisers Masters of Marketing Conference in Phoenix. That percentage is up 20% over a similar study done by ANA in 2006.  CMO’s top priorities today are to lead by example in digital and engage the entire organization, according to the Marketing 2020 project that studied 250 CMOs and more than 10,000 marketers globally. It was conducted by marketing consultancy Effective Brands.

How the hell is a CMO supposed to stay on top of digital marketing when it is changing so rapidly ?  Facebook recently rolled out a new version of Page Insights designed to help create better content and provide administrators with more information about the users that visit their Pages but how can brands leverage this new tool?

The answer is simple; marketing executives have to ensure that all their digital marketing, especially social media, is focused on user needs.  They also need to find, hire and retain top digital marketing talent.  People who are more than technologists, but understand how and why consumers want brands in their lives.  Having someone who is a geek is fine and well if you get stuck trying to put an image on your Facebook page, but having someone who understands your audience can improve brand engagement and isn’t that the reason for all social media marketing?

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