Why business doesn't get social media

Almost 100% of our clients (eventually) ask for a social media component in their strategic marketing mix.  It's rarely why they call initially, but usually ends up a main focus by the time we start working together.  Why?

Because business doesn't get social media. (Yet)

If you've lived in the social media space for any period of time you already know it's not that complicated.  Blogs aren't complicated.  Twitter isn't complicated. Neither is Facebook.  So what's the problem?

The stumbling block for business isn't mastering the 'how to' of the channel. It's understanding the behaviour (or a change in such) which can make or break a given social media investment.  At the risk of being repetitive, here are the general "rules":

  • Listen first, and do so much more than you speak.
  • When you do speak, talk about others more than you talk about yourself.
  • Take time to build relationships: Respect, reputation and trust don't happen overnight.  Relationships that yield dividends take time.
  • Understand the value beyond the $$: The inherent marketing value of a campaign, and the financial value of a campaign, are two different things.
  • Define metrics and stick to them: Measuring the ROI of your social media campaign is only challenging if you don't first clearly set out what you're trying to accomplish.  Put the cart first, followed by the horse, and measuring social media ROI is about as easy as publishing this post.

The most critical stumbling block?

Sharing doesn't usually hit the top 10 in boardroom vernacular, never mind the phrase "give it away".  That's why business doesn't get SM yet.  But sharing = winning.