Things I’ve Learned from Lately #9

“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.

Why Should They Care? – Danny Brown explains what a brand needs to do in social media, a space in which many brands are trying and saying the same things.

Key Takeaway: Making consumers care comes down to understanding what the brand can say that consumers will also care about. Brands can say a lot, but the key is identifying the relevant intersection of what a brand has to say and what has value in the lives of consumers. Both elements must exist. That’s the only way a brand will prove that it deserves consumer attention.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place Digiday breaks down the challenges Facebook has with proving the value of its advertising.

Key Takeaway: Are Facebook ads effective? Are Facebook ads ineffective? The answer to both questions is sometimes. Facebook is losing the PR battle. Brands have been burned. Brands are skeptical. They don’t trust Facebook, and I’m wondering if the time is coming for Facebook to take a pro-brand stance.

Stop Skipping Strategy to Get to ROI – Danna Vetter outlines the necessity of establishing a social media strategy before determining ROI. He states, “…giving yourself no real direction or the accountability of a strategy, your channel has a high probability of dying a very public death, joined possibly by a hallow Twitter egg, months or years of inactivity, and, oh yeah, the company name.”

Key Takeaway: ROI cannot be an afterthought. It also can’t be a question that’s raised before a strategy is in place. What’s the ROI of Facebook? That question gets you nowhere if you don’t know what you hope to get out of Facebook. Determine the return you desire, and then evaluate your ability to deliver that return.

Small Business and Social Media Stats AllTwitter featured an infographic on the impact of social media on small businesses. Stats including 73% of small business use social media and 81% of small businesses plan to increase their social media efforts make a good case for going social before being left behind.

Key Takeaway: Social media has evened the playing field with businesses. Both large and small businesses have opportunities to beat each other. Large businesses can appear to be smaller and more personalized, while small businesses can take their ability to deliver customized, expert information to their customers on an ongoing basis and at greater scale.

The Social Media Bubble Didn’t Pop – Mitch Joel puts perspective on CNN’s article regarding the popping of the social media bubble. He explains that social media is a blanket term that encapsulates very different kinds of companies, that businesses are looking in every corner to be social and that social media is very, very young. There’s time to evolve.

Key Takeaway: Social media has been classified by far too many as a “silver bullet” of sorts. It’s not. As Joel points out, the hype may be dying down. Expectations are being tempered, but the excitement is still there. That’s where we should be. Let social do what social does well, and don’t put it on too high of a pedestal.