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Social Media: How Much of it is Hype?

Is our fascination with social media driven by hype? My guess would be that most people would say no. But check out the headline that popped into my inbox yesterday:

Survey: 7% of Social Network Users Would Look at Messages During Sex

*Man uses  computer in bed.

Now that’s a committed group…or is it? Yes, social media has set marketing on its ear. Kids won’t leave the house without their mobile devices glued to their bodies and grandparents love their Facebook pages with all of the grandkid’s activities there to see, but does that mean we should be throwing out marketing strategy and putting all of our efforts behind social media?

Marketers would say “of course not”, as they run to their computers to send the next tweet, which must be done for the sake of staying on top of trends. Clients, on the other hand, say something different. Some don’t want to hear about the marketing tactics that have worked in the past. They ask only “what should my social media strategy be?” Others just want a custom Facebook page put up. Fast.

Does your target even use social media?

Busy urban  scene – are clients actually using social media?For some, getting rolling with social media, is mission critical. But for many, social media can undermine other marketing efforts that could be far more effective for the organization. For those selling to other businesses, this is particularly true. Clients are busy. Really really busy. Research we have done on behalf of our clients shows that, particularly at the executive level, people can’t even begin to keep up with their business email, let alone reading articles, going to webinars and conferences and doing the other things that are necessary to keep ahead of the curve in their given field.

Three “musts” before you start

So before you jump into the fray, make sure to:

  • do your research. Tightly identify your target group. Pursue social media statistics that will help with your decision making. Get your sales force to enter into informal discussions about media habits with your customers, or conduct a survey to get you the information you need to find out whether social media will have any impact with your target.
  • determine your objectives. Decide exactly what you want your social media activities to do. Drive traffic to your site? Increase sales?
  • Identify your success metrics. How will you know what to stop, start or continue unless you measure whether you are achieving what you set out to achieve?

So back on the hype thing. That headline about looking at messages during sex…got me thinking…I wonder how many people would say the same thing about TV during sex? Probably more than social network users. But it sure doesn’t make for a good headline.

* Source: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=124847

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One Response to Social Media: How Much of it is Hype?

  1. Pingback: Website Strategy Integrating Social Media Part II « Rapport Blog

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