The continuing explosion of social media channels is creating a progressively difficult landscape for marketers seeking to engage customers, gather insights and identify true influencers and the nature of their influence over others. As the audience becomes increasingly savvy and adept at multi-channel communications, I’m beginning to see a different tone and format used to share a single message in different channels by the same individual.
When the same message from the same individual is presented differently in unique communities or on different platforms, which best represents the true intention of the customer?
Is the context implied by the message format or tone in one channel impacted by the community they’re engaged with or the platform they choose to share it in? From customer acquisition to customer loyalty to influencer marketing campaigns, consideration of the communities and the platforms they engage in has become an important filter in marketing strategy.
A few weeks ago I read Ric Dragon’s book: Social Marketology, which presents best practices for creating the ideal social media strategy for your business’ unique needs. In the book, Ric suggests that social media engagement occurs in behavioral patterns and if we can identify and understand these, we’ll be better marketers. This resonated with me because of the patterns we’ve been encountering among our client’s customers. How much of those patterns are based, at least in part, on the community culture or the social platform? And if so, what impact does this have on our marketing strategies?
I thought this was a great debate to task the #bizforum community with and so I asked Ric to join our weekly Twitter event to explore this issue. Below is a slide show featuring the debate questions posted and a sampling of the pro and con arguments by members.
#bizforum debate – week 62
How has the growing engagement within communities impacted marketing practices and proceedures, with special guest moderator: Ric Dragon, author of Social Marketology.
Storified by @samfiorella · Sat, Jul 28 2012 17:15:04
Of course the incorrigible Ms. Margie Clayman had to jump into cause some trouble:
A usual the group’s opinions and experiences were divided but the collective discussion was enlightening. Throughout the debate my goal was to push everyone to consider how much of the customer’s engagement is influenced by their community and if so, how does that impact marketing strategies and processes?
I’ll challenge your views on the impact of communities with these arguments:
- The customer’s online engagement is no longer the natural conversation that would have occurred between them and a brand representative or with a peer, but is skewed based on the social community and social platform.
- The context of customer’s online engagement is in large part affected by the ‘group-think’ nature of communities.
- The nature of the customer’s online content is directly impacted the format and rules that the chosen social network creates
- The hyper changes that the internet and social technologies are championing means that there are too many disruptions in the brand-customer-brand communication path for current social patterns to be used for anything but historical analysis.
- Training staff to adapt to customer engagement and react/respond accordingly is a better marketing investment than attempting to predict customer engagement based on community engagement.
Now I’m turning the debate over to you now:
Is influence marketing thus best achieved by managing communities vs. individuals?
Has the customer’s social engagement become more influenced by their community and the platform than their individual experiences?
Join the debate by commenting below.
Sam Fiorella – Sensei
Feed Your Community, Not Your Ego
My quick review on Social Marketology, by Ric Dragon
I appreciated the fact that Ric doesn’t provide a litany of social media tactics, but describes a framework from which any business can customize unique and personalized social media marketing strategies. Less about technology and more about understanding human behavior, his lessons and approach are thought-provoking for those who wish to take customer engagement in the realm of social media seriously. I recommend this book for process-oriented marketing pros.