We all talk about what’s next for social media. What is going to be the next Twitter or the next Facebook? Pinterest adoption is slowing down, is it going to last? These questions all have some bearing on the future of social media but, for me, these are the wrong questions.
The quest for the social media business model involves a combination of the visible, the sedimentary, and a third, deeper level that is seldom seen, but rather experienced.
A lesson I learned many years ago is that the quickest route to a sale, or an achieved objective, is to remove as many obstacles from your customer/audience as possible. Thinking for your customer is key. Putting the information they need in front of them as quickly as possible will increase your chances of achieving the sale. The lesson that followed shortly after was not to expect your customers to thank you or to notice how clever you’ve been (your sales figures are your thanks). Do expect them to notice when you mess up and do expect them to lose interest if you put obstacles in their way.
Using technology to understand exactly who you audience is, where they are, when they are interested in hearing from you, what steps you can cut out and what information to put in-front of them isn’t some sort of ideal, it is what smart organizations are doing. Location based technology, attached to a profile, or connected to an objective or call to action is much bigger than a game, it is a marketers gift.
This is what social media can do for you. This is where you are going to see your ROI. People’s expectations have evolved and we have the technology and tools to meet them. “This is who I am. This is where I am. Serve me up relevant information.” Get that right and you are that much closer to reaching your objectives.
It may not be shiny. It may not be sexy or achieve as many column inches, tweets or inclusions in the ‘Top Ten viral campaign” blog posts, but it will cut through all the noise, and put you in front of the right people, at the right time, and in the right place.
Photo by Alasdair Munn