Your Media Strategy is Probably Wrong. Why? Part 3
If you’ve been following along and reading parts 1 and 2 of my Media Strategy series, you may be wondering by now: “where’s the real action in this series and when is Mark just going to get to it already?”. I assure you it’s now — you’ve reached the action part – but unless you’ve already read the first two parts you won’t be in the right frame of mind to think about the issues and frame them properly. So go ahead and do that now if you’d like – I’ll wait right here for you.
Also, if you’ve tried other “influencer” products, maybe you’re already turned off to the concept because of the utter lack of sophistication and real industrial-strength capabilities (or even believability) they have. Forget what you know about them now. You’ll be better off and when you mention any of their names in a serious context, people won’t roll their eyes when you speak.
Just the facts
Let’s start with some facts – some inconvenient truths, if you’d prefer. Whether you like it or not, very little original content is contained in Social Media posts. I’m sitting on top of, literally, billions of them and a tiny fraction of a percent are original. That includes both Twitter and Facebook. And if you step back and think about it for a moment, you know it’s true, simply because you can’t express deep thought in the limited space allotted to these posts. So what they are, instead, is a conduit for traditional media material that is published elsewhere. How many tweets and posts do you read with a link in them to a traditional media article, video, picture, or blog post? How many times do you do that yourself? Those articles, videos, pictures and blog posts are where the real thought is located and we click on it for a variety of reasons, sometimes serious ones, and sometimes for sheer entertainment.
Have you thought about this in your Media Strategy, especially your Social Media Strategy? Is your first reaction to “do something” here? What exactly is it that you’re going to do, throw up a Facebook page? Tweet a bunch? How’s that all working out for you? Are your results measureable, or do you think this is a “new” paradigm, one that can’t be measured conventionally? Unfortunately, if you’ve fallen for that line then remember the old saying: ” if you’re playing poker at a table and can’t find the sucker, that sucker is you”. You’re spending lots of time and money and showing no real results, you’re just hoping for the big score.
You need an objective
So let’s step back a bit, take a breath, and think about one thing: What’s my objective?
“To get more business or sell more products” is NOT an objective. “To listen in on conversations where my product or service’s business problem is being discussed and to try to understand what people’s reaction is” is an objective.
The latter objective allows you to be in front of solutions that make your product or service better, and to be ahead of others in the same space. And it’s an objective because it’s measurable. I can measure the number of interaction, conversations, sources, and people involved and see if they go up or down. I can measure their sentiment and I can also measure their progress in becoming a customer.
Identify your triggers
What triggers are there out there that indicate someone is talking about this problem or solution? Are there discussions on blogs, or authors writing mainstream articles or people commenting on articles and blogs? Are there people Tweeting complaints or satisfaction with the way a service is performing? Are there online forums or discussion boards where people post problems? Do customers have to post how to do something with your product or to ask questions? When people mention your product or service online is it negative, positive, or mixed? Do you have one place, and I mean one place, where you can see all of this?
Research your keywords
What keywords, hashtags, phrases, themes, subjects, or even people, are used when voices discuss your product or service or when they talk about the problem your product or service solves? Do they even use your product name or company at all? If you were trying to find this information, how might you search for it and where? This is the 500 million dollar question, because if you knew, you’d be looking there already (instead of trying to find the needle in the haystack of literally millions of online places to look). Not only that, but the searching process itself is probably beyond you, especially if you’re not a crack developer or professional database administrator, because the searching process can be quite complex given all these considerations.
And even when you do find the right places to look, how then how do you rank what you find? If you return thousands of entries, how can you possibly look at them all in a meaningful way? Who or what really matters?
When you do narrow this down ,the data should answer some important questions for you. Examples: Are people actually using your product in ways that you’ve never even thought about? Are there people talking about your product that you’ve never targeted, or never even knew had a presence online? Are they delighted or appalled? In what context do they talk about your solution? Read that last question again because that’s the essence of any good media strategy, especially, a social media strategy. And remember, context is everything.
Do your homework
So before I give you part IV (yes, yes, I know I said three parts, but just think “Goodbye and Thanks for All the Fish”) I have some homework for you: write up your objective, triggers for your objective, and all the keywords, hashtags, phrases, themes, subjects, and/or people that you can use to find them. Then I’ll take you through how to use our product so you can get them all in one place, get a ranked and ordered list of what matters to you based on your objectives, and draw real and measurable results from what you find that you can translate into action campaigns and monitoring programs. I’ll do this in plain, open view of everyone because I’m certain that our product is the only one that can accomplish this all in one place. And after you do these exercises, you’ll be ready to take it for a spin and find out.