Things I’ve Learned from Lately #17

“Things I’ve Learned from Lately” is a regular compilation of articles that have made me a smarter social media marketer. Hopefully, they’ll help you, too.

It’s About Emerging Markets and Feature Phones – Last week, Facebook reached the 1 billion user milestone, and AdAge’s Cotton Delo shares insight as to where Facebook is set to expand its userbase. The answer is emerging markets where major competitors fight for social networking prowess like Russia, Japan, South Korea and Brazil. In most of these countries, users rely on their mobile devices for connecting online.

Key Takeaway: Another billion users is a tall order, but Facebook may be the platform to do it. However, that will depend on how successful it is in optimizing its mobile presence. That means more than updating its mobile app. It means making sure the experience works well across all mobile devices from the very sophisticated to the super low-tech.

As it expands, Facebook will need to define the role in plays in different cultures versus talking the same way to all people.

You Don’t Need All the Answers – Mike Figliuolo of thoughtLeaders encourages business leaders to make decisions even when all the facts aren’t available to avoid analysis paralysis. The risk of not making a decision is a stagnating business that will require even more difficult decisions to be made like layoffs.

Key Takeaway: Social media is relatively new, and a business that wants all the answers on what to expect before getting started will never move forward. Are you holding back because you’re waiting for more answers?

Social for Retention – Jay Baer shares the results of some of his work for The Social Habit, finding that 53% of Americans 12+ who follow brands in social media are more loyal to those brands. It’s probably a no brainer, but Baer points out that this shows that social media is effective for customer retention, not acquisition. Knowing this, marketers could be more on track to “understanding the actual financial impact of social.”

Key Takeaway: Social media marketing campaigns should be focused on mobilizing the people who already love your brand. You can provide them the social currency to increase online word of mouth about your product. The challenge with acquiring customers in social media is that many brands feel that’s their primary focus. Really, when you focus on those who love you, they’ll bring others with them.