Things I’ve Learned from Lately #11

“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.

Too Much Sharing? – On Friday, August 24 a tragic shooting took place at the Empire State Building, and the web blew up with onlookers tweeting and posting graphic photos via Instagram of the incident. Steve Huff of BetaBeat shares his thoughts on Instagram living in two worlds: the always positive, pleasant world view and the real-time, hard-hitting news world.

Key Takeaway: The pictures shared are shocking, and it’s difficult to say whether or not they should be shared online. On one side, it’s valuable to be able to share on-the-ground real-world events, but it’s also an issue when this content is mixed in with photos of weekends with friends and happy memories. It’s jarring. We’re still growing up as a society that’s constantly-connected, and boundaries will be set over time, not quickly. In fact, it’s the ability to share both types of content that’s made the social web so powerful.

The Value of Social Data SmartBlog shares the results of a poll that found that 40% of respondents do not expect data derived from social networks to influence business decisions in the next year. Jeremy Victor of SmartBlog shares his perspective that this is a massive oversight.

Key Takeaway: Choosing to ignore social data is a “head in the sand” kind of attitude. Social data unlocks a lot of potential for brands in the form of product innovation, customer sentiment and competitor activity. Social media data doesn’t replace other data sources. It adds to them, making all sources work harder together.

What Is Engagement? Digiday gets the perspective of five business leaders on how they view engagement.

Key Takeaway: Engagement is an easy term to throw around. It sounds good. It ties back to the lofty views we have of social media. And it allows you to avoid more difficult specifics, but at the end of the day, engagement is a consumer interacting with a brand on some level. It’s a consumer taking action. In some environments that action is a ‘Like.’ In others, it’s a view. How you define engagement should tie back to what your KPIs are. Every marketer should know how they define engagement in each of their marketing efforts just like they define success.

Wait… Social Media IS Productive – Harvard Business Review shares the results of a recent McKinsey study on the impact of social technologies that found that social media can actually increase productivity of workers.

Key Takeaway: Social media is often touted as a great way to connect with customers, but it can’t be overlooked internally for communication and collaboration.

The Data Lifecycle – No one crunches data quite like Chris Penn, and this article provides a great high-level overview of a four-step data cycle.

Key Takeaway: You can’t take numbers at face value. Social media has a variety of metrics across multiple platforms. The real insight is found when you actually analyze the data and turn it into a course of action to optimize your content, your campaign your strategic roadmap or even something outside of your social media plan like product development.