Stop with the Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin': Customers aren’t Targets for Social Media

Keeping up with social media is a real challenge these days. However, one theme seems constant whenever you read blogs about social media, especially among marketers and so-called optimizers who target, target, target to drive, drive, drive customers to their client’s social media asset, i.e. video, blog, community, etc. You would think advocates of social media are Rowdy, Gil, Jed, or one of the other actors on Rawhide.

Move ‘em on, head ‘em up
Head ‘em up, move ‘em on
Move ‘em on, head ‘em up
Rawhide
Count ‘em out, ride ‘em in
Ride ‘em in, count ‘em out
Count ‘em out, ride ‘em in
Rawhide

Folks, targeting is not nearly as important to social media as understanding customers, attracting them, engaging them, and learning from them to improve products and services. Important results, like reinforcing your brand, come naturally from that process. Customers are smarter than many social media analysts think, especially the social media optimizer crowd. The engagement gap is not a marketing problem so much as it is an experience design challenge. Haven gets it right when he says,

…finding a successful social media solution isn’t a marketing problem, it’s a product development problem…In most (but not all) cases, it’s difficult to get people passionately engaged during the selling process. This is because most marketing approaches essentially favor the needs of the marketer (sell the product, reach more eyeballs, disrupt the prospect so they think about us), not the prospect (How are other people in my situation preparing for retirement? Do the people who read that book feel it helped them?). …what companies need to do is understand how social technologies enhance their existing products in a way that benefits the constituent (or what new product could exist). Make life easier, fun, or inspiring for a person and they’ll be more engaged. Make the social technology solution a core offering, then the marketers get a better shot at turning that participation into something that will entice new customers.

Haven’s point is precisely an experience design point about the importance of the customer/user relationship to social media. Mark Vanderbeeken makes a similar point.

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One Response to Stop with the Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin': Customers aren’t Targets for Social Media

  1. […] Stop with the Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’: Customers aren’t Targets for Social Media: Keeping up with social media is a real challenge these days. However, one theme seems constant whenever you read blogs about social media, especially among marketers and so-called optimizers who target, target, target to drive, drive, drive customers to their client’s social media asset, i.e. video, blog, community, etc. You would think advocates of social media are Rowdy, Gil, Jed, or one of the other actors on Rawhide… Read more on Skillful Minds. […]

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