Things I’ve Learned from Lately #4

“Things I’ve Learned from Lately” is a regular compilation of articles that have made me a smarter social media marketer. Hopefully, they’ll help you, too.

The State of the ‘Expert’Forbes breaks down some recent observations and findings that point to the idea that, despite being put on a pedestal, experts don’t always point people in the right direction. In fact, their predictions have been observed to be only marginally better than random guesses.

Key Takeaway: Sadly, social media marketing can be full of a lot of snake oil. The truth is that anyone who claims to be a social media marketing expert isn’t telling the whole story. The landscape shifts constantly and is volatile across the board. Social media marketing requires expertise in several areas (e.g., customer service, digital, PR, brand strategy, etc.) to be successful. No one is an expert in all of these areas, so don’t put all your trust in one individual.

Use Data to AnticipateDigiday talks to marketers at seven brands to discuss how they view data and how they approach it. What it comes down to with most of them is the fact that we have access to more data than ever before. That’s not the challenge. The challenge is doing something with it.

Key Takeaway: Data can do one of two things for a brand: slow it down to the point of stagnation or drive it forward with previously unknown insights. It comes down to knowing what you want to measure, why and how action will be taken. Don’t just have a plan for getting data. Have a plan to act on it, too.

Know the Why Before ListeningThis post is short, sweet and smart as Eric Boggs of Argyle Social outlines the pitfalls of social listening very succinctly.

Key Takeaway: Listening is a cornerstone of any social media program, but listening can kill you if you don’t know why you’re listening or what you’re looking for because there’s so much info it leads to not moving forward. Like any marketing effort, know what you want to get out of it and why before you get started.

Who Owns Social?It’s hard to believe that this question still needs to be asked, but Michael Terpin lays out that, even from Cannes, there’s a lot of confusion around who actually owns social. Everyone claims it!

Key Takeaway: Social media shouldn’t be “owned” by anyone, especially in the long-term. It should be leveraged by everyone across an organization and their agencies. At the heart of a successful social media effort isn’t a social tactic, it’s a social idea that extends across channels from paid, owned and earned. There may be a social media lead who ensures everything is on track, but effectively leveraging social media is everyone’s responsibility because it’s not just another channel, it’s a mindset that involves all the players.