The talk I gave on September 16 in Ottawa at the Social Media Breakfast hosted at Gowlings (organized by Simon Chen)
Text of Your Social Media Strategy Won't Save You
&$*#@@%&*!!! your social media by tara missrogue hunt
strategy wont save you
twitter isnt the answer.
facebook isnt the answer.
blogs, vlogs, photosharing, text messaging and IM arent the
none of these are guaranteed to
why? 1. social media doesnt scale 2. social media is only a
band-aid 3. social media is about...being social 4. trust is at an
1. it doesnt scale
Craigslist gets more trafc than either eBay or Amazon .com.
eBay has more than 16,000 employees. Amazon has more than 20,000.
Craigslist has 30. sept 2009, wired magazine
craigs social media strategy #1
craigs social media strategy #2
craig understands that social media doesnt scale, but creating
a useful, working site that listens to its users does...
"The truth is that a lot of people complain about
craigslist...few of them complain about the design...They seldom
complain about amazing new features they imagine they might
possibly want to use, because they are too busy complaining about
the simple features they depend on that don't work as well as
they'd like. By eliminating marketing, sales, and business
development, craigslist's programmers have cut out all the
cushioning layers that separate them from the users they serve..."
sept 2009, wired
30 staff members.
number of social media gurus?
2. its just a band-aid
"For all the good that @comcastcares does on Twitter in order
to help unhappy customers Comcast is still reviled for its lousy
service." Steven Hodson, The Inquisitor, September 5, 2009
impressive! but wait...
ah...comcast cares is a charity!
results of a more likely search...
@comcastcares is a victim of our nepotism. We desire to
validate ourselves so strongly, that we will idolize less than
"Customers wouldnt feel the need to embarrass us en masse, if
our customer service channels werent so completely broken." Bob
Knorpp, The Beancast
why its a band-aid not everyone that is having trouble with the
company is going to be on twitter the comcast staff on twitter dont
answer every complaint (I checked thru the last 3 days of
complaints and only 1/3rd were addressed) for those they DID
answer, many people didnt engage their Can I help? dialogue
competitors also troll for the same keywords and take advantage of
this what happens when customers start asking, WTF dont you x the
problem instead of just being my Twitter buddy?
3. social media is about...being social!
we probably dont need research to tell us this, but...
we are wired to connect Goleman on the ndings of his
reasons why adults & teens use online networks adults teens
Stay in touch with friends 89% 91% Make plans with friends 57 72
Make new friends 49 49 Organize with others for an event, issue or
cause 43 n/a Make new business or professional contacts 28 n/a
Promote yourself or your work 28 n/a Flirt 20 17
nowhere even close to the top of that list is the desire to be
sold to...or nd interesting new products to buy...or have a chit
chat with a brand representative...
the social networks arent really changing us that much...
around the world, studies have shown people maintain between 4 and
7 close friends at any given time in 2007, Facebook founder, Mark
Zuckerberg, discussing the social graph, showed that the average
user had about 110 friends social scientists wondered whether the
web had changed our ability to have more close friends Christakis
and Fowler analyzed a universities data (students who had 110
average friends) and looked at close vs internet friends Christakis
and Fowler found that the average Facebook user actually had 6.6
4. trust is at an all-time low
Google News search results for articles with rebuilding trust
in the title in 2009: 4,500
so...who can we trust?
the myth of super-connectors
the realities the path of inuence is not predictable a burst in
trafc sent by an inuential blog/event is not usually sustained our
inuences change frequently as do our needs inuence can grow fast or
slow, but can disappear fast or slow as well there is a big
difference between DISCOVERY and BUYING DECISIONS
discovery decision super-nodes/ friends/family inuencers
product reviews (to a friends/family lesser extent now) word of
mouth sales agents (inuence branding outcome depends on experience
(cool, Ill remember that - helpful?) for a time when I need
multiple other factors, it) including cost rarely a purchase
purchase outcome may be connected to a decision later on close to
wide network close network has higher inuence inuence
in other words... I may learn about something cool from Tim
OReilly (famous dude), but I may actually buy something completely
different based on the experience and advice of Carol Ellen
buying decision process (AIUAPR) awareness - this is where
marketing comes into play. Getting the message out that a product
exists. Could be WOM, could be SM, could be an ad. interest - aka
sexiness is this something that piques my curiosity? Usually where
branding comes into play. understanding - is it relevant to my
needs? what is this all about? Good copy goes a long way, but so
does good product design and usability. attitudes - does it do what
it says it does? is it really all that? This is where
friends/family come into play as well as consumer reviews. Trust is
core here. purchase - this may take a while if its a big ticket
item, but the analysis isnt over yet. User experience is key here.
repeat purchase - loyalty or recommendations to others...if the
product hasnt lived up to its expectations, this can really inuence
attitudes going forward.
this is all way more complicated than simply opening a twitter
account or making a facebook fan page...
you should be happy that its complicated. it makes our work
MUCH more interesting.
if merely setting up a Facebook page or providing customer
service on Twitter were the answer...
thinking bigger 1. forget social media strategies -- think
customer-centric business strategies 2. forget marketing -- think
customer happiness 3. forget inuencers -- think enthusiasts 4.
forget campaigns -- think learning cycles 5. go deeper than trust
-- raise whufe
social media isnt a strategy, its one of the communication
tools available. Its a great and potentially personal tool, but
dont stop there.
think customer-centrically instead - for the entire
not customer-centric You do everything you can to You have a
long list of customer keep your customers on your relations
policies. Any exception website. to those policies has to go up the
chain of command for approval. You measure number of visitors and
time spent on your website as You need to create multiple whether
you are successful. instructional videos so that your customers
will understand how to use your product. When budgets get
tightened, you make cutbacks in areas like customer service,
marketing, You demand social media support staff and design.
strategies that win over the inuencers to blog or tweet about your
product. You are bothered by a customer describing your product in
their own words that doesnt match your brand.
customer-centric You send customers to other Your customers are
doing things websites. with your product you never dreamed and are
posting videos. You measure how many people refer their friends to
you as Inuencers are adding you as success. friends on social
networks. When budgets get tightened, You work with your
competitors you tighten operational costs. towards better customer
experiences for all. Your only customer service policy is to do
right by the You know you compete for your customer. customers
attention with everyone.
...if it doesnt help your customers rock rst and foremost, it
creating customer happiness
what makes people happy? autonomy (feeling that your activities
are self-chosen and self-endorsed) competence (feeling that you are
effective in your activities) relatedness (feeling a sense of
closeness with others) self-esteem (set-point, or the persons
natural propensity to happiness) from the Journal of Personality
and Social Psychology, published by the American Psychological
5 ways to create feelings of autonomy 1. give people tools to
personalize their experiences 2. build businesses that democratize
previously inaccessible industries 3. offer clear and attractive
choices/help people make choices that are good for them 4. be open
and transparent 5. make feedback simple and remove barriers between
employees and customers 6. dont lock people into your
5 ways to increase feelings of competence 1. create ow...simple
entry point to more complex systems 2. allow ways for mentors to
interact with newbies (create rewards) 3. build consecutive levels
of achievement into the experience 4. plant easter eggs 5. dont
talk down to your customer...make it fun (think Gary
5 ways to increase relatedness 1. build in multiple ways for
customers to interact 2. create multiple collaborative experiences
3. create simple ways for customers to share experience with
friends 4. build in easy referral systems and bonuses 5. help the
customer be more generous 6. create online/ofine meeting
Inuencers Enthusiasts probably havent tried your have tried and
LOVE your product product are really busy and have are dying to get
YOUR multiple companies trying to attention get their attention
have an audience of various have a sizable audience sizes, but with
your help could grow that audience will move onto the next will
remain loyal as long as product review tomorrow you rock their
world arent guaranteed to give have already sung your you a good
rewarding your enthusiasts (be careful of creating the wrong
incentives - too much free stuff and commissions = trouble) refer a
friend codes for their blog/twitter followers thank you note with a
small gift passing along journalists that are doing a story on your
company to the enthusiasts give them a backstage tour of your
facility (zappos does this - its awesome) name a feature that came
from his/her feedback after him/her blog a success story about that
customer send a birthday/Christmas/Hanukkah/thank you card
launch learn limited time campaign ongoing process - no end
less planning up front and more putting stuff out to lots of
planning up front, customers, getting feedback, leading up to the
big launch learning, tweaking, rinse, repeat. pull (with a small
amount of push push) about customer acquisition about customer
satisfaction if the word grows slowly, lots of time for grassroots
campaign may be over b4 growing of buzz - and by the people catch
wind. time it tips, itll be better!
whufe is... reputation number of people who know you trust
number of people you can count on to bring you soup when you are
sick reach current and potential access to positive sentiment
ideas, talent and resources inuence saved up favors (reciprocity)
number of people you know your known accomplishments
whufe is more complex than trust and may or may not care about
inuence, network size and popularity, but does care about whether
or not you deliver on your promises.
and social media?
social media tools are great. theyve raised the bar and theyve
AND we can work them into an overall strategy to help direct
customers make a good buying decision.
social media tools and AIUAPR awareness - help spread the word
that our products exist - post this to Facebook, following keywords
and getting in front of potential customers, search engine
optimization, blogging, tweeting, attending social
functions/BarCamps, publishing valuable information and reports
interest - focus on design, blogging/tweeting behind the scenes,
telling your story, posting videos and photos of our product in
action, follow us on twitter/become a fan on Facebook, get involved
in the customer community understanding - good copy/content,
posting videos and photos, collecting feedback/having conversations
with people who are potential customers
social media tools and AIUAPR (2) attitudes - learning from
customer reviews, allowing for customer reviews and ratings,
following keywords to improve/put back into your product, allow
people to ask for others opinions on social networks, responding to
let people know youre listening, collaboration, making it simple to
give feedback purchase - make it super simple to discover, share
and purchase, creating multiple distribution channels, share
decisions on social networks, sharing purchases on FB/twitter,
posting photos to Flickr, following up with simple return policy
repurchase - creating badges, tell-a-friend referral programs,
keeping track of preferences, deep web monitoring of feedback,
tracking & recording and putting lessons back into the
social media wont make our companies better or make people love
we are lucky that these tools allow our customers to connect,
speak out, talk back and share more readily with their
if we are doing our job right - i.e. thinking customer
centrically, putting their happiness rst, rewarding enthusiasts,
learning not launching and raising whufe - those connections,
conversations and some of that sharing will lead to our
Order Whufe today! http://www.thewhufefactor.com
licensing: share/remix/spread ... but dont forget to attribute.