Things I’ve Learned from Lately #31

“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.

Risk, Rewards and the Cost of Innovation – Zach Newcomb shares a perspective that all brands and agencies should have in Digiday: “At the end of the day, our job isn’t to advocate risk for risk’s sake… Our job is figure out where a brand wants to go and what opportunities exist to help them… not to simply come up with cool concepts and convince brands to buy into them.”

Key Takeaway: Marketers need to understand the problem they’re trying to solve before they align on how they should solve it. Defining the issue allows a brand to evaluate potential solutions ranging from what is safe to what is more risky but potentially faster and/or more effective. At the end of the day, the best solution is the one that will solve the problem, not the one that will turn the most heads.

What the Grammys Can Teach Us About Integrating Social with Events – Sree Sreenivasan shares the approach CBS took to encourage social engagement with the Grammy’s, including reminding people, being responsive, giving a reason to participate and more.

Key Takeaway: Engagement, for the most part, doesn’t just happen. It’s the result of conscious decisions on the part of marketers to drive consumer action. It’s more than just showing people a #hashtag. We have to communicate the value of participation and deliver on that promise to drive true participation.

Social Networks are Getting More Intimate – Ryan Tate writes in Wired about the new social network Nextdoor, which connects people within neighborhoods. The idea is to connect people with individuals they see every day in the physical world online as well.

Key Takeaway: There have been countless studies on the effects of maintaining digital relationships on social networks like Facebook, but there seems to be a movement to make our social connections more meaningful. Apps like Path allow people to connect with a smaller subset of their friends. Nextdoor is about connecting with neighbors. These social networks are about enhancing offline relationships, not replacing them, which platforms like Facebook have done to a limited degree.

Getting Your Hands Dirty AdWeek published a piece about how marketers are challenged with having a brand presence on new platforms that cannot be managed through dashboards like Hootsuite and Buddy Media. However, they point out that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Posting on native platforms tends to deliver higher levels of engagement and greater success.

Key Takeaway: Social media is about building customer relationships, and relationships are sometimes messy. Marketers shouldn’t feel that a dashboard to manage every minute detail is always necessary. Sometimes going onto social platforms and engaging with a community will deliver greater results and a community manager more in tune with a community’s needs.