How to avoid social mood swings

“Marketers overestimate the percentage of customers who want anything to do with brands in social media in the first place, and they get the motivations wrong.” – Patrick Spenner – MLC Wide Angle blog.

Marketing Rule #1:  Understand your target audience!

This is true for any marketing endeavor you embark on. Failure to understand what your customer wants and needs is the kiss of death, especially when it comes to social media. Many of us have had the experience in companies large and small of executives, management, or even non-marketing / corporate communications employees saying, “we should do more social media…get on Twitter and Facebook today.”  Earlier I wrote about social media goals vs objectives and talked about the differences and why objectives seem to be what everyone is missing here. A failure to outline the company’s objectives for using social media and making a commitment to what the customer or target audience needs ultimately leads to wild swings in attitudes towards social media (much less any sort of marketing endeavor).

They’re like  social mood swings

  • We need to be on Twitter. Setup an account and push our news…  Done
  • How many followers do we have? 500!
  • Let’s get that up to a 1,000 by the end of the month. Run a contest.  OK
  • Now how many followers do we have? 1100!
  • Great!  What’s our sales uptick from using Twitter?  Zero
  • Forget it…it doesn’t work.

Okay, this is a total generalization, but the fact is that without an objective that aligns to customer or target audience needs, social media will do nothing.  The owner’s objective in this scenerio was to increase sales, but he did not take into consideration that the customer (his followers) were not at all interested in product promotions. They don’t use Twitter as a resource to purchase. They use it for something entirely different. Figuring that out is the first rule of establishing what your social media objectives are.  Heck it’s the first rule of figuring out what any marketing objective is.

The point is that to avoid “mood swings” get a solid understanding of what your target audience needs, and whether social media is the best tool to meet that need. If it is, you better stick with it and commit to the program. Otherwise, your mood will change (again).

For more insight, read: Patrick’s “Lessons from the Hype Machine

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