- Why does the author say the socialization of business was inevitable?
We as humans crave social interaction with one another. The book brings up the analogy of social media in this century serving the same purpose of people gathering around a campfire in past centuries. Social media has put control back into the consumers. They have the control to see what they want to see. Facebook, for example, allows you to “unfollow” certain friends, or even “stop seeing” links from specific websites. If businesses want to attract the attention of consumers now, they have to play by their rules. They have to create content that engages their audience and is geared toward their interests. They have to make their audience feel welcome, make them feel human. As the book says, “What these companies managed to do was reject the notion that customers were “numbers” in an elaborate game of marketing and sales”. Companies that engage customers on a deeper level create raving fans. Social media has provided platforms that allow business to connect on a more personal level with their customer.
- What’s the difference between social communications and social media?
Social media is are the “pipes” that carry the flow of communications. Social media are the plat forms, Twitter, Pinterest, FaceBook, etc. Social communications are the activity or what people do with the platforms.
- Why does the author say social media matter’s to business
I first want to appreciate that the author brought up about social media not being an easy or simple thing. A good social media program is well thought out. Social media matters to business because they can get valuable information and feedback from their customers, do I dare say in a much more fast and economical way than the past. (Meaning holding focus groups or conducting surveys, which are still very valuable tools). Social media programs can help with lead generation, customer retention, crisis management, and help in making decisions within the organization of new trends or products.
- What is lateral engagement and why does it matter?
Lateral engagement is peer to peer, or word-of-mouth. This is one of the most effective and economical ways to build business, but before social media, word-of-mouth was hard to achieve. When people like something, they might tell a few people. When they hate something, they will tell everyone. Lateral engagement is huge on social media. I see friends post all the time for recommendations on certain products. They can easily go look up reviews about product from strangers, but they want to hear it from their friends. It is important for businesses to learn what lateral engagement is, as the author says “Word-of-mouth, in order to be effective, must be relationship based: Influence and trusts, within lateral channels, are earned, not bought.”
- How does the author say social media brings value to an organization?
Businesses can use social media to support business objectives, a good example is handling reputation and crisis management. I recently watched Johnson’s Baby handle a situation via twitter. An account @johnsonsbabylk tweeted “If your 9 month old is distracted while breastfeeding it might be a sign that she’s ready to be weand off milk #johnsonsbabytips”. Mothers were outraged by this post. Upon further investigation I found out that this account was not the official Johnson’s Baby twitter. The real Johnson’s Baby spent a good part of 3 hours personally tweeting to people’s comments letting them know they were not affiliated with that account and that hashtag.
- How do you tie social media to business objectives?
I never really thought about the facade of a social media program or strategy. I do think impressions and likes are silly buzzwords that people use to show worth, but I have always been an advocate of looking beyond. You tie social media to business objectives by looking beyond. You can have a goal of getting 50k fans on facebook, but to tie it to business objective it would be getting 50k new potential customers. Or getting 1 million impressions with 20% conversion ( I don’t know what is a realistic conversion to 1 million impressions).
- What is the difference between goals and targets and how do you create a social media roadmap?
This section was a little confusing because in the PR world I think these are Objectives/Tactics. A goal/objective is a desired end point. Example, wanting to increase customers by for 2015. A target is specific value assigned to an objective within a finite timeframe. Example, increase customers 10% Q1. In other words, goals set direction and focus of an activity, targets establish specific parameters of success for accomplishing goals.
In order to create a social media roadmap you have set targets, which are specific. This forces business to think, specifically, how they will achieve goals. It gets business out of the vague and into a real problem solving specific mode. I have seen this in a past job. One of the goals my old boss set (he was acting president) was have 1 million impressions in the next year. I gave him push back and tried to discuss with him HOW we would get those impressions. At the time I was the only person in the marketing department, and I was trying to set targets, which were specific and required more man power. It was hard to get him to understand that simply setting that goal was too vague.
- What are 5 examples of business goals social media could impact and how?
1) Grow customers – social media can help grow customer base. The conversion funnel begins with awareness of the brand. Lateral and vertical engagement can make or break new customers in the conversion funnel. As the author says, “acquiring net new customers via social networks and developing them via social engagement are two basic ways of driving toward that objective.
2) Ad campaigns and Promotions: Another way to increase sales is to do ad campaigns via social media. It doesn’t have to be traditional advertising either, you can have other people promote your product as reviews on Youtube or blogs. You can also promote special sales or discounts.
3) Customer Support – taking care of customers is the number one priority for most companies. Social media enables businesses to communicate with customers faster than ever before! Have a question about a product? Tweet or comment the question, and an employee monitoring social networks can respond instantly. Customers are ALWAYS happier when they get a quick response.
4) Hiring Employees – many employers check out people’s social media before they hire. In the PR world employers will ask potential hires to bring or provide a portfolio. If I were going to be trying to get a job where I managed social media, I would expect the employer to want to see my twitter, instagram, pinterest and blog. Employers can see my work and make hiring decisions off that. They can also get a feel for what type of person I am through how I interact on social media.
5) Managing Reputation/PR – it is easy to monitor what people are saying about your company, good or bad. You can prevent crisis by squashing false rumors. You can address potential or full on crisis immediately, like BYU did a few years ago in response to a non BYU student who put on “blackface” make up and asked students what they knew about Black History. His video offended a lot of people, but BYU was smart and professional by handling the situation. This was their response: