Things I’ve Learned from Lately #32

“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.

Balancing Humanity with Technology – Jason Falls shares an experience on Social Media Explorer that showed him that while technology is an important component to marketing, humanity is what brings everything full circle.

Key Takeaway: So often marketers think of technology as a replacement for what people are already doing when in reality, technology is an enhancement. It should be viewed as something to make people’s jobs easier and more effective.

A Better Way to Evaluate Influence – Vijay Sundaram shares in AdAge that marketers have been looking for a magic bullet to evaluate influence for some time. However, influence is more complicated than that and is dependent on context. He provides examples of another option to leverage influence and that’s integrating “social referrals into marketing programs focused on customer acquisition and retention.”

Key Takeaway: Influence is full of nuance, and we can get caught up in what appears to be a shiny, new answer. However, influence can be measured using traditional marketing metrics, and success can be evaluated against program objectives. We have the industry-accepted answers. We just need to be smart about how we apply them.

Too Many Reviews Hinder Decision MakingMIT Technology Review reported that Braess’ Paradox, the idea that adding more roads to a network can lead to greater congestion, applies to social media marketing as well. People have access to more product information in terms of reviews and options through their personal connections than ever before. This influx of information can actually make coming to a decision more difficult.

Key Takeaway: This potentially means driving reviews, ratings and recommendations may not be as simple as generating more. Marketers will be most effective when they can choose the right ratings, reviews and recommendations to put in front of potential customers, not as many as possible.

Real-Time is a Deliberate Process – Jeremy Epstein of SmartBlog on Social Media shares that more goes on behind-the-scenes when it comes to real-time marketing than meets eye. Technology, security, governance, permission, compliance and other issues are also part of the equation.

Key Takeaway: Marketers have been falling all over themselves to be more real-time since the Super Bowl, and one can’t blame them. The benefits are clearly huge, but much like any successful marketing effort, real-time marketing is the result of deliberate processes and decisions. Permission to move quickly, make mistakes and take risks is just as essential as the tools and people who make real-time happen.