Things I’ve Learned from Lately #26

“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.

Flexibility in Procedure Sociable points out that while many businesses have Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), social media’s real-time nature makes it difficult to integrate into existing processes. The key is flexibility at the core. Leaving room for change and optimization is essential to ensuring process doesn’t get in the way of success.

Key Takeaway: Social media marketing requires process and organization, but its fast-paced nature can be challenging for businesses to implement, especially businesses that existed before social media marketing gained prominence.

Measuring the Human Side of Marketing The New York Times points out that marketing, to the chagrin of Mad Men-era advertisers, has gotten increasingly analytical. Ideas have given way to algorithms in many aspects of the industry, but social media brings things into balance with a more human side to marketing. However, this contrast between qualitative and quantitative approaches has challenged advertisers who want to analyze an ever-growing pile of disjointed user data. The rules for measurement have yet to be set.

Key Takeaway: Marketers are programmed to measure, and even though social media brings in more data, marketers are more prepared to harness it than they may think. The key is identifying what is and isn’t worth measuring. Now, we have our choice in metrics that we can use to optimize our social media marketing efforts—qualitative and quantitative living in harmony.

Are We Really Building Relationships? – Adam Kmiec writes in DigiDay about how data and qualitative observation reveal that, despite buzzwords, consumers don’t want relationships with companies through social media.

Key Takeaway: Consumers are interested in brands and the products/services those brands sell because they benefit them in some way. Brands can be successful in the social space by using their expertise to benefit consumers online with entertaining, educational and valuable content. Do consumers want to have a relationship? No, but if a brand can benefit them in some way, they’ll pay attention.