I went to the Big Social Media Debate at the fantastic setting of County Hall near London Eye last night. It was a brilliant event – with a full on brand debate between the `Social Media doesn’t exist` team led by Neil Kleiner – Head of Social Media at Havas Media, and the `Social Media is essential` led by Claire Lawson of the Press Association. Claire’s team won – most of the audience, largely made up of digital professionals in the retails and ecommerce space, agreed with Claire that Social Media WAS necessary for their brands to engage in.
Neil; given his role; was of course in some way playing devil’s advocate. But his observations were in some way understandable – that Social Media is not a `thing` – it’s just business, evolving. Doing the same thing we’ve always done – but on a different playground. But that it shouldn’t be a game-changer. He made a reasonable point that only Dell and Starbucks stand out as the shining lights of Social Media = Increased Profit over an ongoing period.
But, as was alluded to by some of Claire’s team – why should the measurement of social media integration be always about sales; pounds and pence?
This is something I wholeheartedly agree with. Social Media surely can only very rarely be directly accountable for sales, but it plays a part. However, I would never upgrade or downgrade my social media participation because of sales figures. As I always say: Social Media is a lead generator, not a deal-maker. It’s not a short-term solution, it’s a business lifestyle change.
Social Media – in the main, Twitter – gives me:
– Customer engagement
– Content & Information sharing
– Passive discussion with relevant people who are important to my business
– Ongoing visibility in a `target` market
– Demonstration of expertise
– Availability and accessibility
– Recommendation & Referral power
– Development of reputation
– Market insight
– Opportunities for learning
– Promotion of my vacancies
– Hits to my website
– Potential clients’ information and activity
– An ear to the ground for potential job seekers
– Awareness of Offline events and networking meet-ups
– Fun, lots of fun
I have just stopped writing, because I could go on… I get all that daily from Social Media.
So long as I then do my job well thereafter…, what else is there to measure?