Tuesday, October 2, 2012

In your facebook! you social media demographic is staring you in the face

As I continue to espouse the need to think about how social media pull needs to become part of the dialogue, I figured I would continue to create some thought starters around social media pull and how it relates to doing  a better job with your social media program.

In my last post, I created a "scenario" to think about changing how social media campaign management could look if folks were more interested in understanding content along the way towards doing a better job of "pushing" the right stuff to the right places and to the right people.

I thought I would tackle a different way to think about Facebook.

Typcially every company prides itself on its community management efforts when creating and maintaining their FACEBOOK FANPAGE.  In fact, there is great debate about how important this is to a successful social media program.  There is tons of evidence that each fan is worth some amount of money and how important interacting with you community is to making your business run.

I won't call bull shit on this thought...I think it is valid, but I would have to argue that in my adventures around the social media landscape people really have no clue as to what value this really provides.  In fact every single metrics tool I have seen for Facebook is really just a lot of cool stats with little to no depth behind them.

For instance, I have been quoted the social media riot act by many digital people when they talk about their PTAT scores. And I have to ask, "they may be talking about this, but do you know what they are really saying and whether it is positive or negative?".  The answer is usually a deflate no we don't but they are talking about it.  How can you truly measure the impact of something if you have no idea what the nuance is.  Statistics that move when you do something is definitely a response, I won't disagree with that, but insight comes from understanding not movement.

So what if you could "understand" not only that they were talking about it or commenting about it, but really know overall whether your captive audience was speaking positively or negatively?  Wouldn't that bring the insight you need to do a few important things?

#1 - understand your audience
 If you can tease out what they like or dislike within this conversation, you can really start to think about the cause and effect of you creating content for your community. Instead of driving an unstructured dialogue you can listen better so you can know what they want to talk about or are responsive to.  Knowledge is power and understanding is part of that equation

#2 - Control the dialogue
If you could understand your audience you can actually now "drive the discussion" in an informed way.  This is the value of pulling from this captive audience gets more valuable when you can start a "listen and learn loop" with your community.  By pulling (and understanding your audience) you can better push to drive the messages you want and then learn and loop from there.

#3 - Know your consumer target
This is an important one.  There is a ton of discussion around using social media to make sure you are talking to your target audience (or consumer demographic in business).  If you can actually make sense of and then control your fan audience you are actually talking to your consumer.  Couldn't it be argued that your Facebook Fanpage audience is your target demographic.  It doesn't matter what their age is or where they come from...the point of a fanpage is to talk to people who love your brand.  And this may be the biggest secret...your fanpage is your demographic and understand the captive dialogue is the path to a real time understanding of your consumer all the time.

Now this brings me to the point of this post.  As a use case, many companies are trying to figure out how to better sell to their customers.  So you have a sales team and the are responsible to sell products or services to these customers.  I used to be the customer and I had many suppliers come to me telling me they understood my consumer and I used to laugh.  With social media understanding and the ability to look at a FanPage, a sales team can easily study their potential clients core consumers to be better prepared to sell.  It is the ability to look at a meandering demographic day by day to really track what is most important to the consumers of your customer.  This is a sort of slam dunk way to be better prepared to sell using social media pull as a method.

The question is who hast he technology to really understand what is in that captive audience.

Stay tuned....the answer might come soon.....

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