This morning, I became acquainted with what Jay Deragon has been writing on social media and suddenly the light came on. As he said:
There is Friendfeed, Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook and a host of other platforms and tools for social conversations and user generated content. To say the least the space is very confusing and crowded if not overwhelming for those just entering and trying to figure out what to do and how to do it. While all these conversations stir interest, few focus on the critical elements required to effectively leverage the art and science of social media for specific gains.
That passage is taken from his article, Is Social Media An Art? He goes on to say that the four driving factors are:
- Attention: Businesses and individuals are using the tools of the social web to garner attention from specific consumer markets of interest to the audience and the business.
- Attraction: To keep people’s attention a focus on design, content and utility are the elements which create stickiness which indicates attractiveness.
- Affinity: Content, design and community are the attributes of creating affinity to the proposition and the users of the online community. Unless the conversations related to the user’s needs or interest the attraction is lost because the users find little affinity to the conversations.
- Audience: Once 1, 2 & 3 are accomplished then you have an audience to provide continuous value propositions in order to reinforce 1, 2 & 3.
He summarizes that in another article, Is SM ROI Really Important? which is when the light bulb moment occurred.
The more business people I talk to about all this social stuff the consistent response I get is “Show me how to make money with it”.
Any good sales person will tell you their number one objective is building relationships over time. Yet few if any company bothers to measure the cost of building relationships rather they measure the results of relationships. Measuring the results doesn’t tell you “how to build effective relations” or “which methods create the best relations.”
Relationships come from human experiences, not corporate spin and hyped promises. Human relationships are measured by trust, sincerity and common values. If you want a return on social media, then focus on conversations that build lasting relationships based on value exchanged and create great experiences.
There you have the crux of the matter. Your company should measure how well it is working with social media by evaluating the relationships the company is creating with its customers and its prospects. Unless worthwhile relationships are created, then efforts in social media will be ineffective and may even be without value.