Five Things Your Brand Must Embrace for Social Media Success: Part 3


This week, I’m passing along the five things your brand or client must embrace to increase its chances of executing a successful social media strategy, based on Geoff Livingston’s book Now is Gone with my own take and additions.

1. Give Up Control of the Message (click here to read)
2. Participate Within the Communities (click here to read)
3. Stakeholders Who are Social Media Savvy

Who are you trying to connect with through social media? Customers, analysts, employees? Does the group you’re attempting to create community with engage in social media? Depending on whom you’re targeting, the answer may be “no.” If so, social media activities are probably not the most efficient way to reach them.

However, Geoff suggests that if at least 15 percent of your targeted community is participating in social media, then it’s time for your brand to participate, too. He goes so far to say, and I agree, that the business value of engaging with your community in the type of conversational relationships that social media provides is invaluable. If nothing else – and this is reason enough, I believe – the least you get out of building relationships this way is qualitative focus group-type insights.

Do you agree that 15 percent of your target being social media savvy is enough to dedicate time and resources against reaching them in those communities? If not, how large a percentage would you need to be convinced it was worthwhile?

*Image by Brian Solis and used under the Creative Commons Attribution License.

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2 responses to “Five Things Your Brand Must Embrace for Social Media Success: Part 3

  1. Good series, David.

    I don’t know if 15% is the magic number. But I would think you could make some reasonable decisions by calculating how large that 15% is (is it 1,500? 15,000? 15 million?), what the actual potential value of that customer base is and how much you’re going to spend on social media. Do that, and you can see how what you’re spending per prospect compares to what you spend on your other marketing efforts. If it’s less per prospect, and if you think social media is going to be reasonably efficient at converting prospects to customers (this efficiency will vary depending on your industry and positioning within that industry), then you can probably make a good decision on whether to use social media.

    At least that’s how I would approach it.

  2. Thanks for sharing your insights!

    In terms of the potential value of the customer base, I think that’s where the big challenge lies. Social media isn’t always about directly selling product. Much of its value lies in the relationships built, the insights learned, the rumors debunked and the trust gained. How do you put a dollar value on that?

    It’s a challenge because folks want to assign ROI dollar projections/results to all activities. But social media can have the same challenges in providing exact $ numbers on contributions to sales that traditional media relations has for PR pros.

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