Wednesday, August 29, 2012

You have to Co-Opt the message not drown in it

Very recently I wrote about push and pull in social media.  In an effort for self growth, it is important to force yourself into uncomfortable positions.  One of the places I have been challenging myself lately is to think bigger about the social media market/problem.  In a recent post, I spent a lot of time discussing the importance of being a social media puller and not a pusher.  Pull being learning from the content so you can push better.  The below view is how I see the social media marketplace as a whole.  It gives one some context around the market's development.  What I am advocating here is that entire market wont' settle until PULL and PUSH are in balance which seems a ways away.

This is the social media market's current reality.  When people talk about having a social program, it is my hypothesis that 80% of the program (and their cultural focus) is centered on creating successful programs to drive consumer behavior.  I like to simplify it down to social media "push".  This includes activities like engagement, e-mail campaigns, SEO efforts and other things of this nature.  These are efforts to create content that is PUSHED out into the social marketplace.

The other 20% of the market is actually starting to think about pull. What is PULL?  This is pulling data from the Social Marketplace into the Corporate Landscape.  It is what most people call a social listening program.  And in most cases, there is an immense amount of pressure on the social practice to create ROI from their listening programs.  Everyone wants to know why they should invest in listening if they can't for sure know whether it is accurate or even tells them that their PUSH was successful.  And even though they continue to send this message, most companies are getting very comfortable increasing their PUSH efforts because they feel it is creating viable ROI.  I won't try to refute that belief here, although much of my experience working in the PULL market suggests that most people believe it is of value but can't prove it?

My question is this?  How can you successfully Co-Opt the social message that is being created if you don't understand what people are thinking about it prior to crafting that message?  In my opinion companies have to get a whole lot better at PULLING first to PUSH effectively.  This is similar to polling consumers on what you message should be before crafting and launching it.

In socal PULLING...the data is all there waiting to be combing and analyzed, but most don't trust it as they blindly PUSH content out into the world.  This seems like a broken process to me, because it is only half complete.

In fact, I would argue people who are not staffing their social efforts in a 50/50 manner are wasting their resources because the amount of PUSHED content both from companies and consumers escalates daily at a rate that is mind boggling.  So doesn't it make sense that by PULLING first, you can focus your PUSH to the right folks talking about the right things in the right places.

This type of internal process (where application meets reality for social media tools) is the culture shift that will add efficiency and excellence to any social media program, because you can now optimize how you do things rather than increase what you are doing to reach the consumer.

In will Co-Opt the message rather than letting it Co-Opt you...

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