Social media marketing relies more on listening than broadcasting for good reason: Broadcasting doesn’t have the same impact as traditional media channels, and listening helps us measure and adapt to become more relevant to consumers.
There’s a great quote from Jim Farley, Ford’s Group V.P. of Global Marketing, contained in the video posted below about the end game with social media marketing that says: “You can’t just say it, you have to get the people to say it to each other.” [Emphasis added]
This is why measuring output is the wrong approach in social media marketing, although many might extend that argument to all digital PR and marketing in general.
It’s never about what we say in social networks about our own efforts, but about what others say about us. Is our product good enough? Is our branding, positioning, messaging, etc. sticky enough for ordinary folks to talk positively about us?
This video, Social Media ROI: Socialnomics, has some great case examples of brands and individuals who’ve experienced a wide range of success with social media marketing.
Focusing on what others say about your company, your industry and your communities can help your business take the right steps to become more relevant to its stakeholders. It’s not about simply looking for opportunities to drop messaging into ordinary conversation, but about finding shared interests, shared benefits and shared rewards for others in the communities where your brand interacts.
How do we measure? We focus on the conversations, intentions (search), web traffic, downloads and conversions, while keeping in mind that all of that data is only ever a snapshot of a much bigger picture that includes offline interactions that we may never be able to capture.
The brands mentioned in the above video offer encouraging examples of some great outcomes with social media marketing. If they only told us their output, how impressive would that be? Think about it.
The new way to shape public opinion doesn’t rest on our ability to broadcast in these new channels, but on how we use new channels to connect and build relevance.
How are you working to shift the focus in your company from internal to external? From output to outcomes?
Socialnomics video by Erik Qualman. Follow @equalman on Twitter.
Note: I found this video on a great post about social media mythbusting by Lisa Barone over on Outspoken Media. It’s a great post chock-full of useful information. When you’re done here, you should check that out.