The long delays usually encompass deep thought and more importantly implementation. For the past two months I have been knee deep in the social media battle. From hearing people's fears about whether they should even believe the validity of social media to working with true believers hell bent of making their own organization take responsibility for building their own capability. The spectrum is still vast.
Using the time analogy...it's still 9:15 on its way to high noon. I say no change because I amazed at how little consistency there is around the social media landscape. It is still a free for all. The confusion is baffling.
In fact, I had the chance to sit on panel recently and got to ask my favorite two questions of the audience once more. 1. Do you trust social media as a data source? Less than 5 percent of the 300 people raised their hands. 2. When you make a purchase online how many of you read about it before buying. Everyone's hands go up. 18 months of asking this question...no change. And change is what everything is about these days.
What does all this confusion mean? I think it means a lot of things, but most importantly that this is going to be a long slog and there will be major casualties along the way. In fact, I can see it already. Why? Because I have had the pleasure of working with two organizations in particular that are slowly embracing the need for change. And in both cases, the champions who have true vision for what is need and really understand social media the results come quickly and with great impact to those who are resistant.
But what is the secret of their success? They believe in pull.....
What is social media pull? It is different than push I can tell you. As someone who works on the pull side (I will explain in a moment), I have been blind a bit to how much push is going on. What is the push then? It is the creation of content. It is the modes, methods and tools that work the help people and companies drive the information flow. It is about working to control the message, to drive engagement and and increase the interaction with each other and companies' consumers. This is a critical part of the puzzle. Why? Because push is what made social possible. If people didn't create the content, then there would be nothing for people to read, react to and protest or embrace.
We must all pay homage to the great data push of the last 5 years. It has fundamentally changed how things work in the world. We have seen regimes fall, companies thrive, and people gain favor from their own backyard (blogging). The problem becomes noise. There is now so much content that the noise in the maelstrom is deafening.
Today, I am here to make a case for the opportunity that is falling on deaf ears created by the content fever. It is the case for pull. If push is the creation of content, pull is the antonym. It is about learning from what is pushed, listening to it, measuring it and understand its potential impact on what we push. Pull is about what must happen now. Companies continue to push messages out unaware of what else will be pushed by their decisions. When Chick Fila deciding to go public with its message against gay marriage they didn't really count what it could become with what else could be pushed. In fact, I saw an article showing how much it affected their companies sentiment with consumers. Their push created negative push and if they had just pulled ahead of voicing their beliefs they may have decided to keep them to themselves. Papa John's..same thing...don't get political without expecting the push to push back.
Link to article...in Masahable
Social media analytics, listening or whatever you want to call it gives one the power to understand the chaotic flow of the push. If you decide you are going to filter everything around you in an effort to gain some measure of control by understanding you can win. How many companies are currently planning their next push based campaign leaving no room during the event to use pull as a means of adjusting and optimizing the message they have set in stone prior. Better yet, how many companies used pull before they even planned their plan. Imagine if they used pull to learn first, then plan and then leave space to co-opt the push that is naturally created during their effort.
It would enable one to run their organization in a more fluid way. They would essentially embrace the idea that they don't control their brands as they did and it is important to pay homage the vast push that continues to grow by the second. The push controls them and their success is in a entities' ability to control its own reaction to how things used to be.
Well...they aren't the same anymore. We all know the world is different. My advice from the battlefield is this. Stop thinking that you can take your same old marketing messages to the virtual world. You can't control it. How much evidence do you need? The message is often a fart in the wind. You may go back to your organization and tell the tell of the likes you created, or the views you had, but either way if you don't really listen or learn from the push, then you are just being pushy.
Don't be pushy...be pully first...it will help you be even more pushy then you realize.