You can’t control customers anymore. You need to enter the conversation or risk becoming an irrelevant brand. And when you start conversing, you must be transparent and humanize yourself. You need to be monitoring the pulse of your brand image, mapping customers’ social graphs and architecting personas. Sound familiar?
But rather than look at these typical Web 2.0 statements as valid, let’s question them at the core. No, you haven’t lost control of your customers. No the conversation they’re having about you isn’t really new … it’s just amplified and expedited by the social Web. Your brand image is “humanized” and you are honest with customers.
The truth is that what social media gurus and content marketing experts are offering as business advice is often outside of the context of a very important question:
“How can I use digital media to create sales, better products and improved experiences for my customers?”
Many social experts are well-intended but selling the wrong answers to the right questions.
If we continue to believe the hype-and-spin—that the rules of business have forever changed—we risk believing that engaging, tweeting and friending is more important than making sales or capturing leads. Or believing that somehow all we need to do is “do social media” and the sales will roll right-on-in.
Creating sales and leads using the social Web demands we see the big lie as a lie: The fundamental rules governing your business have not changed! There is no social media revolution … just a chance at evolution.
Leading social marketers are now translators. They’re discovering customer need, analyzing it, feeding it back into marketing programs and amping up optimization—generating more leads, more often.
The opportunity is to discover hidden customer need, tonurture and capture it by publishing and by creating knowledge-based utilities. That’s how I see it. How about you?