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Over the years I’ve sat in many meetings hearing statements like: “We need an idea for social!” or “take the ad campaign and ‘socialise it’.” Then there’s this little belter: “We need a viral video!” Or my personal favourite: “that’s a nice idea, let’s shove it on social – that’ll work!”

Let’s not and it won’t!

Most people have social feeds these days – we’re personal users whom are navigating content of interest. Too often, brands run their channels in exactly the same fashion as a user manages their own page. Yet, they wonder why they don’t see the well-documented community growth, engagement and conversion-to-sale that industry publishers (and our IF blog) regularly tell readers about.

Here’s why: I drive to work each morning. I get in my car and I effectively navigate motorways and A-roads, even occasionally performing an over-taking manoeuvre or two. I successfully arrive at the office. I’m a competent user of a car. Despite the odd daydream thought of emulating Lewis Hamilton when I’m foot-to-the-floor in the outside lane, I’m never going to be gracing the F1 grid any time soon. I’m not an expert driver and I certainly cannot make a car perform to its best ability.

A competent user does not make an expert. Sure, anyone can publish a post. Some can even serve Paid media Ads – the platforms are making it easier for every day user to stumble through the process. However, a competent social user is never going to grow your channels, moving your business towards social CRM or social commerce. In today’s market, that absolutely must be the goal.

Significant commercial gains can be and are achieved from social on a daily basis. Global B2B companies are evidencing multi-million pound sales pipelines, sourced from social activity – they’re filling their funnel at a great pace and volume. Consumer brands are influencing consumer spend and even performing transactions in social channels, to shorten the journey from consideration, through purchase trigger and on to sale.

Social is significantly influencing customer spend.

Social, if placed in the right hands will evidence:

  • who you should be engaging with in industry – defining the people whom are spending money with your competition
  • when your target customers are most active – by day and time. You can literally see when you should be serving awareness messages and when you should publish spend-driving content
  • who should be targeted and re-targeted with contextual storytelling
  • the audience segments and the core themes and topics within those that you should exploit with Paid media
  • how much you need to spend to reach your segmented audiences, with clear metrics around daily and maximum reach
  • content performance, evidencing trends and types that have driven trackable spend, allowing you to create more of what works and drives revenue
  • you can track through to sale conversion

 

The junior within marketing will have grown up on social as a user, but they are not (yet) equipped to qualify on pole and win this weekend’s Grand Prix.

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