The Paine of Measurement
Time to Get with the Social Media Program
There are lots of people out there claiming, "You can’t measure social media." And they’re partially right: You can’ t measure it if you aren't doing it!
Yes, I know, I’ve said this before, but being in New York (at OMMA Metrics Measurement) this week has been an interesting reminder of just how important it is. Granted, I tend to talk with smart people who “get” social media, and generally the reason they call me in is because they want to better understand how to not only “do social media” but how to measure its effectiveness. So my perspective is a bit tilted towards the forward-looking end of the spectrum.
Did Your Education Stop in 2008?
But I am astounded by the people who take pride in saying “I’m not into social media” or “I don’t need that stuff” – and then complain because their business is down, or they have no work, or they can’t get a job. Don’t you guys get it?
Growing companies today don’t want someone who’s education in marketing and communications stopped in 2008. They want people who understand this brave new world and know not only how to navigate it, but how to make it work for them.
Like my new friend @musichall (Monte Bohanan, Electronic and New Technology Manager)
Clueless in Corporate America
For the one-third of American corporations that now have a Twitter account, I want to paraphrase Sara Palin: “How’s that tweetey, changey stuff working out?” Comcast, Dell, and Sodexho aside, most of the corporations on Twitter haven’t a clue how to have a conversation with their customers. They boil a press release down to 140 characters and let it fly. This is classic 20th Century thinking in a 21st Century world. The people who are doing it should be taken to the woodshed for a crash course in how to listen and respond to a conversation.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming the communications folks. I’m blaming the corporate culture. Most of the time, it’s not the fault of the communicators, it’s the fault of IT and the lawyers. Internal corporate censorship means that most communicators can‘t even access the tools they need to do their job. In the last few months I’ve presented to organizations where I haven’t even been able to access them because of internal corporate blocks. And I’m not talking radical sites, I’m talking Tweetdeck and YouTube, and even my own DIYDashboard site.
But it probably won’t matter anyway. In every industry and market there are a few smart people who are doing it right. And those are the organizations that will succeed and thrive and beat the pants off their slower-moving competitors. The dinosaurs will become extinct.
Take Your Job and Tweet It
My advice is to get a wireless air card from your cell phone provider. Or go to a Starbucks or your public library. Take a week off, go home and play around in social media. Learn the rules, read the experts, have a conversation. Then come back to work armed with your new knowledge.
If you still can’t persuade the powers that be to participate, offer to be laid off. Yep, take the plunge: Chances are that, without social media skills, your company is going to tank anyway. So read the Tweets on the wall and move yourself and your new skills to a company that will appreciate them -- and survive.