Bigger pages, more followers, conversations on the wall… The more mainstream social has become, the more it seems that campaign goals have shifted to what’s done on the pages, profiles and realms of companies. But in the same way we have learned (or are learning) to look past social stats as a measure of success, we must look past our channels as the place where conversations should take place. Social is after all not about us, even if it’s about us… Continue reading
Last week Jeremiah Owyang of the Altimiter Group published what I suspect will grow to be known as one of the defining guides to entering passion / interest communities. While Jeremiah did a truly solid job this is a topic that hits home for me so I’m going to expand with my own thoughts on a few points… Continue reading
As the photo above shows, my view right now is pretty impressive… In many ways it’s easy to think of this setting as completely detached from the world of social marketing or brand but as I listen to the conversations of the people around me they tell a different story: first a remark on the view, then a comment on how great it is to get away from it all followed by a quip about their energy drink, the new shoes they’re breaking in for the hike down, the car trip for those who drove in. Truth is, for better or worse, products are a part of our everyday lives and they don’t get talked about simply on a public Twitter stream – they get brought up in context.
Whether its chit chat on a 4-mile hike to reach an amazing view like this one or on a closed Facebook group, most of the conversations that happen about our brands takes place in a world which we as marketers have no direct access to. Yet in an attempt to become more transparent by speaking to customers, we’ve unwittingly backed into a corner and become stuck on only what is right in front of us — monitoring and “owning” the public conversations but missing the big opportunity.
Rather than focusing on what’s “in the open” and trying to be the master of every conversation, it’s best to focus on the power advocacy can bring to all mediums – whether it’s responding to a late night plea for support, sharing a review, or combating a negative belief in the line at the cafeteria. A trusted friend tops any other marketing, social included, and it doesn’t care what channel or privacy rules apply to the conversation.
Next time you’re out of your controlled environment, whether it’s a camp ground or an amusement park, listen to what’s being said about products & brands and ask yourself not how you could be speaking in that conversation but rather how you could win the attention of one of the participant’s time so they speak for you, or at least about you.
[This post was recorded on the trail to Glacier Point 7/16/2011 and typed up later. Thanks iTalk!]