Thursday, September 20, 2012

Being PULLY so you can way more PUSHY

One of my great blindspots over the last year is my focus on talking about social media from a minority perspective.  What do I mean?  As described in an earlier post, there is social media pull technology and social media push technology.

The post Links are here "link 1" and "link 2"

This segmented view of the social media market is something that opened my eyes to the fact that my conversation with the world was very lopsided.  And while I am definitely fluent in social media pull language and technology, I am not as fluent in social media push.  And where there is awareness, there is learning.

In fact, a great moment in clarity happened this week.  We recently hired a very talented new person in our company.  As we sat down to get acquainted, I started to share this idea of push/pull with her.  As I described to her this idea she stopped me and told me this simple concept was very helpful because since starting at our company she was feeling lost as she learned what we are doing.  She then told me that she had been working in social media for a long time, but wasn't quite sure why our language sounded so different.  As we talked, she confirmed for me that she now understood the difference which would help her think through this problem because now she could see why.  It made me tell her, I need to learn your language as well.

In order to further crystallize this methodology of thinking about social media push/pull, I thought I would take a couple of use cases that people think about in their social media lives and bring this concept to bear with some thought starters on how to make it work.

In my work, I hear a lot of different use cases that are interesting to folks.  They include such things as campaign management, new product innovation, B2B selling and issues management.  I will start with Campaign tracking and do the other ones in other posts to come.

Let's pick them off one at a time...

Campaign Management - People always ask us if there is a good way to manage campaigns, because people are looking to understand their social media ROI when promoting their brands.  We can all agree that a campaign by its nature is push marketing whether it is social or not.  The mistake people who are not well versed in pull social media make is when they want to measure their campaign effectiveness they tend to stop short of really pulling key information to help their campaign.  They usually want to pull the metrics of their launched campaign.  This can include tracking buzz, sentiment or other simple volume based metrics.  They never really go deeper the way they now can.

How about a new scenario.  You are about to launch a new campaign for your brand.  Before you even design it couldn't you take the time to study where people are talking about your brand.  You could study where the most positive sentiment is on what websites.  This PULL would allow you to more accurate target where you PUSH your message.  In fact, when you are searching for the where, you could actually figure out what they like or dislike about your brand on that particular target.  Armed with more information of where they talk and what they like or dislike you can now craft more targeted message in the place you now push.  You single messaged campaign could be segmented across a similar but targeted social geographies (website etc).  Now you launch the campaign in a different way.  Because you can understand using PULL the reaction in-flight you learn that of the 5 customized and targeted campaigns 3 of them hit the mark as you expect, but 2 of them do not. In fact 1 of the 2 could use the message from one of the other successful campaigns.  Now because you studied it in flight, you can adjust and adapt to make sure the message you want hits your target in their soul.  After it is over, you can track and measure what went right or wrong.

Where is the ROI?

The ROI is founded in the simple fact that by first understanding where to push and what message you could push, you have the power to really understand what is important rather than simply hope.  Yes you know your consumer, but the cost to do so is so much higher when done traditionally versus simply using social media analytics to learn.  So you have probably saved money using social versus traditional means.  Second, figuring out yourself quickly and inexpensively where people are talking about your brands as well as elements of your campaign allows you to more effectively tighten your message and deliver it where it counts.  One of my big complaints about PUSHERS is they have lost the notion that they are simply pushing more and more content to a world that is creating it faster then they are.  Do a search sometime on topics similar to or around your brand.  You will find that in your space no matter how big your brand is, it is still a small part of a much bigger conversation pie.  And lastly, by learning more quickly about the success of your campaign you can take those learning and more quickly create the next more successful campaign without waiting weeks for the traditional measure to tell you your effectiveness.

The disconnect is no one's fault but as I learned in the innovation world...

If you don't have clear operational definitions then you will simply be saying two different things.  Pushers and Pullers don't speak the same language and because of that the ability to use social media data is severely diminished because no one is looking at the total picture...

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