Posted by Tom Gable
In listening to several gurus of social media at the Counselors Academy Spring Conference May 21 through 23 in Ashville, NC, a key theme emerged: there are no magic beans from social media to plant and instantly grow attention, engagement and business success for any organization. New technologies and applications will continue to emerge almost daily. The challenge still becomes to be smart in setting standards, goals and objectives, then integrating all the tools for precise execution over the long term.
The stage was set with the May 21 keynote by Brian Solis, principal of FutureWorks. A few key points lifted from his talk included:
- Adopt the new KISS – keep it simple and share.
- The is new measurement on the way: resonance. How long a message stays alive – the long tail.
- Social media is the slot machine for attention. Become like a journalist. Be relevant.
- What you share is important. There are no official audiences anymore.
- Be creative. It increases your influence.
- Social media is all about sociology and psychology. Social media is an emotional experience.
- Measure. Work backward from what you are trying to make happen.
- Integrate the tools into your strategic plan. There is no single tool or tactic.
- Bottom line: engage.
A breakfast panel the next day delved into “Listening and Brand Monitoring in the Social Space.” Moderator was Carrie Kandes, vice president Marcus Thomas. The panelists: Eric Israel, Attensity; Ken Miner, Spiral 16; and Amber Naslund, director of community, Radian6 Technologies
Each stressed the importance of listening before doing. This included monitoring the depth and breadth of the conversations. Amber proposed that social media is the new phone. She said technology will continue to change so told counselors to avoid having obsessions with the “tool thing.” How do the tools fit?
Business is becoming more like politics. Every consumer has a voice to be considered. Companies need to position themselves to be able to react internally and externally to conflicting voices and outside complaints.
Ken said that like any other business tool, social media monitoring needs to be part of a process. Set standards. Define goals and objectives before you begin, he urged.
Once you start monitoring, how to use the data? Being strategic is not just an automated process with algorithms. Smart analysis and interpretation requires human brain power. Look at things in context and connect the dots in your process of brand monitoring, tracking trends and looking for blue water opportunities.
But attention not enough. What is needed to compel people to do something?
The panelists warned that brand monitoring can be a time sink. Decide what you want to achieve and how much time to invest before you launch a full scale listening program. Be strategic – consistent advice from the days Edward Bernays first launched integrated plans to change reputations and drive new behaviors.