Things I’ve Learned from Lately #36

“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.

Small Communities within a Big Network – Alan McStravick explains on that users have formed small, like-minded communities on massive social networks like Twitter, according to researchers.

Key Takeaway: Marketers are too often mesmerized by the number of users on a social network, but the reality is those networks at their core are made up of a large number of small communities. Each community has its own quirks, interests and languages. As marketers, we should know the community we’re trying to reach and pursue it, instead of trying to reach an entire user base.

Social Customer Service is Lacking… Still – Heather Somerville writes that even though people are increasingly turning to brand profiles on social networks like Facebook and Twitter for questions and assistance, brands are slow to respond. Questions are either unanswered or ignored for several days, which has the potential to have a negative business impact.

Key Takeaway: This is one of the most basic aspects of social media marketing. It’s difficult to execute to perfection, but most businesses already have the pieces needed for success. They just need to figure out the right process to provide customer support quickly on social channels. A business that can’t do that may not be ready for social media marketing. Business that do this effectively set themselves apart from the pack.

How Google and Siri are Positioned to be Social Media Middlemen – Neicole Crepeau points out that Google and Apple are well positioned with their mobile dominance to bring information to users, rather than requiring them to seek it out. This means users will have fewer reasons to visit social networks as well as their owned sites/apps as frequently as they do now. Personal assistants like Siri use social and other types of data as well as information on user behavior to predict information users want and then deliver it without being asked.

Key Takeaway: At the end of the day, it shouldn’t matter to marketers whether people go to social networking sites as destinations or if information comes to users automatically. Our job is to understand how messages are distributed and then develop a plan to help ensure our brand messages are delivered as well.

Diplomacy Goes Digital Mashable reported the thoughts of Alec Ross, the State Department’s first senior advisor for innovation as he transitioned off the job, on the future of diplomacy. He discusses the future approach of the administration and the need to continue to experiment and not adopt a risk-averse approach.

Key Takeaway: Ross’ experience shows that technology has dramatically changed communication forever, which has brought benefits as well as complications. Even though brands find themselves in a disrupted environment, sitting back and avoiding risk is not the right approach. Brands need to be part of the changing landscape, not bystanders.