In May, I blogged about my opinions on the (high) emotional energy invested in social media like Facebook, Linked In and Twitter. At the time, I was skeptical of the real value of social media. It seemed to me that business leaders were acting less from a thoughtful conviction of strategy than because they felt the pressure to jump on the social media bandwagon lest they appear out of touch. I suggested that if marketing practitioners and business owners were going to insist on adding the social media options to their existing business activities, they should at least ensure that their efforts were an extension of their brand messaging strategy and adding real value to their audiences.
I’ll confess, I gave that advice with some skepticism because I had not seen solid evidence suggesting that the time and money (mostly time) people invest in social media is paying off.
Shortly after writing my little missive, however, I was invited by a local software company to a networking session during which we’d discuss the whys and wherefore’s of social media. I went, (mostly because my good friend and former client Meredith suggested it). The host kicked off our session with the disclaimer that he and his team were in no way experts on the subject of social media, but that they would—as a means of getting the conversational ball rolling (and a genius soft sell of their services)—share their own social media strategy.
What really hooked me was when they shared that you could use services like Peoplebrowsr to monitor and sift through all Tweets looking for the search parameters of your choice. This appealed to me because I frankly don’t care what Paris Hilton is doing or that my cousin has a head cold (sorry, I’m insensitive like that). The only reason I’d consider investing my limited time in social media is because I want to connect with people who might be prospective clients, business partners or are thinking about things that will inform what I do. I selectively follow people like that and—given Twitter etiquette—they typically follow me back. So I’ve generated a small network of people who are in the business of marketing in Colorado or otherwise doing brand strategy and research.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
The real measure to any new marketing endeavor, should of course be whether or not it’s generating new business and so far, no, it hasn’t. Given the nature of what I do, I have come to accept I have a very long, highly relational, sales cycle, so for now, I’m giving social media the benefit of the doubt and operating under the belief that my activities are generating brand awareness for KW Brand Translation. But I haven’t yet tested that theory so the experiment continues.
What have you tried and learned with social media? Let the conversation begin!
Kyndra Wilson, KW Brand Translation
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Seasoned Marketing Strategist