I think we all pretty much agree that social media as a marketing channel is in its infancy. Most businesses are like babies taking their first steps—excited, unsure and perhaps with a bit of fear. Having grown up in the direct marketing industry, I honor the brilliance of those who are developing the tools that are shaping social media today. Yet having participated in a marketing channel that has evolved into a science, I see some steps we need to take to advance social media to its next stage of development.
- Approach social media as you would a small child with much potential. Invest in its care and feeding and don’t expect it to support itself until it has a chance to grow up.
- Shift the focus from the concept of influence to the idea of propensity. Look towards building connections with people who have proven to take the action you want rather than rely on their friends to influence them.
- Invest in developing methods to identify and reach out to your target customers. Don’t allow your social networks to evolve on their own. Manage your networks from the perspective of building the most valuable list you can. Don’t skimp on the time to do some digging as that is where you will discover your gold.