Latest industry views and advice

July 8

Is the use of social media marketing not yesterday’s – even yesteryear’s – news?

How could social media – with its now seemingly-ubiquitous adoption by marketers, communicators and companies in general – still be the subject for instructional webinars?

The reason? Micro moments of truths for consumers – but more of those later.

Brian Solis – noted, early social media mover and shaker and Altimeter consultant – still considers it important enough to spread the “gospel” and talk social media best practice for marketers. The fact that 67% of the buyer journey is now digital with 11 information sources consulted on average before buyers make a purchase makes the way marketing uses social media critical.

In a recent webinar hosted by Synthesio, its CEO Loic Moisand outlined the investment brands are making in social, with a predicted figure of $36bn dollars by 2017. But the burning question remains: how can you connect social to business impact?

Solis asserted that social media is “more than capturing likes; [it’s about] looking for intelligence to better understand what people are looking for – staying plugged in.

“You cannot do on social what you’ve been doing elsewhere: shouting at people and trying to measure the success of that.”

But it’s easier said than done for marketers and the companies they work for to “move from monologue to dialogue” and know what to do when attracting attention via social channels.

Brian Solis: “Marketers just talk too much; social is about listening, learning and adapting and being a go-to source. When you share something, engage, respond, something happens! And data is about people – who they are, what they do and what they value.

“Tech is making business more human again – an opportunity to get to know a new generation of customers.”

The “C” word (that’s “customer” to you and me) is “the epicentre of everything”. It is the customer experience of your brand that, says Solis, defines your brand, not the other way round. And it is, therefore, not uncommon for so-called “brand promises” to be disconnected from the customer experience.

Listening with purpose

If marketers are to create better connections between brand and customer, they need to find a way into the “Influence Loop”, the social spheres customers visit to find the shared expressions of others – these are the unchartered places companies and brands don’t own in which customers are consulting their peers rather than brands. This is where – at the ultimate moment of truth when people are asking about your brand – marketers need to listen with purpose and re-think how to become part of the influence.

Solis goes further in describing micro moments of truth which constitute a “variety of ‘I want’ scenarios”. These moments “happen on the fly” when a person is engaged with their mobile phone or tablet in which they “want to learn/buy/know/go/do”.

These moments are also engagement opportunities and require a content strategy. Solis: “Give people something to talk about – something to think about – that gives people purpose.”

“Your social consumer and their value system about how they buy is different from any previous generation.”

And if you’re willing to “LISTEN – LEARN – ENGAGE – ADAPT”, you can aspire to a creating a “Return on Experience”.

During the post-presentation Q&A section of the webinar, your humble blogger managed to pose a question to the experts: “What’s a good place to start?”

Brian Solis’ response? “A good place to start is simple: a shared expression of value – do conversations align with our brand? Most of the time they don’t.

“Start to inspire new engagement strategies, look at the customer journey and audit the places that become touch points: what are they finding/not finding and create a content roadmap.”

Image: courtesy of Altimeter and Synthesio.

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