After years of case studies showing social media’s power to connect people (customers, partners, and employees), you would think the debate would be settled.
In fact, it’s just beginning in some companies…now in a new way.
While nearly everyone is probably willing to admit there is some value to social media and that “it works”, a new question is arising.
Exactly how much is it worth?
This video parodies what’s going on in some companies as the new year begins.
How do situations like this happen?
Sometimes decision makers are not educated enough on what they were buying, had their expectations set too high, or don’t have patience to see it through. It might even be a combination of all three.
Here are three big reasons why leaders are beginning a new round of debates about the value of social media in the marketing mix:
1) Poor Education
Leaders are not being educated on what they are buying, how long it will take, or what it actually does.
Sometimes, overzealous marketing leaders used the “Everyone’s Doing It” pitch and got approval without explaining that social media is a new kind of war, not a single battle.
2) Wrong Expectations
Have you heard or said things like:
“Social media is free advertising!”
“Social media will make sales explode!”
“Let’s make it go viral!”
“We won’t have to spend money on other expensive marketing routes.”
In reality, using social media is only one part of building a modern business. Setting expectations too high, too fast, or too easy makes for trouble.
3) Lack of Patience
Some leaders have been properly educated with correct expectations, but just don’t have the patience. Their ADHD leadership tendencies make them lose focus or patience and they withdraw support so they can focus on their next great strategy.
Social media is not a strategy. It is a method of communicating.
Communication can be good. Communication can be bad. However, for most industries there is no way to calculate return on investment of communication.
It is everything.
If you choose to do social media poorly, you are choosing to do business poorly.
Don’t stop something you’ve started because you’re impatient or afraid. This social media stuff isn’t going away and your competitors are only spending more time and money each quarter on finding ways to connect with your clients. Ignore it for too long, and your clients may begin to ignore you too.
I first heard about Pinterest.com from a woman who was telling my wife that she and her daughter are addicted to “pinning” things and looking at “pins” all day. Since I never want to miss the next big thing (addictive is indicative), my ears perked up.
I took a pass and let my wife be the pioneer on this one. Pin It
However, about a month ago I started paying attention again after hearing that it was the #3 social network for time spent, #5 traffic driving social network (beat out Google+), and had growth of 400+% in the last six months. On Tuesday, Hitwise tweeted that Pinterest’s visits have grown from 10 million to 17 million in just this month!
I also started noticing more visits to 8pmWarrior.com from Pinterest.com, so I did some research.
I found out that it allows video, is addictive for visual people, is easy to start using, and that there were (inexplicably) other men on there too.
There are men on Pinterest?!
I don’t ever want to be a latecommer to the next big party. Plus, I was an art minor in college and enjoy graphic design & video production. Many people (all women) told me that Pinterest was right up my alley.
The sad thing was I didn’t know who. I just knew they were gone.
I wonder if we’re talking to so many people on so many channels that we don’t even know who we’re missing anymore.
Are we forgetting?
They say the human brain can only maintain an average of 150 weak relationships at a time (Dunbar’s Number), and only 10 strong ones.
You know who was missing?
You forgot me! Sadly, I also forgot you too.
Isn’t this crazy?
When we are honest, many of us with a modern social network would admit that we forget each other when we’re gone. Yes, we remember each other right now, of course. That’s why it’s so important that people, brands, and blogs stay active and “out there”. That may be the only way we’re unforgettable in the Attention Era.
Here are 5 reasons you should check out StumbleUpon:
1. StumbleUpon sends more traffic than Facebook
Yep, you read that correctly.
With well over 1 Billion pages visited through their service each month, leaders can no longer afford to ignore it. If you’re producing great content on the internet, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to have your work seen by people who have opted-in to see the very topic you just wrote about.
2. StumbleUpon now allows brands to have their own channel
This has huge potential.
In the past, it was frowned upon to open up an SU account just to share your own blog posts. Recently they’ve done a 180 and now encourage brands to share their content via integrated RSS feeds, Twitter, and Facebook. The only problem is that it’s not an easy process to set up a branded channel. In fact, there is absolutely no instruction on how to create a StumbleUpon channel, despite the fact that their blog clearly states that it’s open to everyone now.
It’s definitely not a passing fad. It’s been around since 2001 and is now seeing tremendous growth. More members means a larger community of people exposed to your content and sharing it through the Su.pr shortlink system or the StumbleUpon “Submit” buttons (see example on the left or bottom of this post).
Almost all top blogs have these “Submit” buttons and now services like Triberr have it built in too.
Ubiquity + 20,000,000 users = Success
4. StumbleUpon Paid Discovery
For as little as $0.05, you can have someone on your site without another click (beyond clicking the “Stumble” button). No banner ads. No miniature square Facebook ads or small text-based Adwords. An impression is an impression of your whole page, not just a small logo.
It’s also not too expensive either.
You can target it to interests, locations, or demographics and it integrates with Google Analytics so you can see what’s happening with your traffic.
5. New “Explore” Search Feature on StumbleUpon
StumbleUpon.com is not a full-blown search engine (yet), but it does allow you to search almost 500,000 topics and find pages at least one person found interesting. Yes, it takes some of the serendipity out of finding a cool site randomly, but it allows for a more customizable feed of stuff that is more likely to please. A big win for users.
The “Explore” feature looks like this:
Any leader, marketing pro, producer, or blogger needs to be aware of the positive impact that StumbleUpon can have on your business if you use it correctly. In the Attention Era, there’s nothing as valuable as free attention.
If you’ve never heard of it before, check out the 45 second video below and learn how the new site works:
If you’re already on StumbleUpon, let’s connect. Here’s the link. I always follow back my fellow 8pm Warriors.