i “attended” a webinar some time ago given by Mr. Adam Mertz, production marketing manager and social business software strategist at Jive Software. They make business software that brings social interaction and monitoring to the business level, and they have a GREAT logo. Mr. Mertz’ relatively brief address was titled “Building the Business Case for Social Media Marketing”, and while there was some focus on B2B or Business-to-Business uses and strategies, the one page of notes that i took included some more general nuggets that are worth sifting through and passing along.
Probably the most core element, and one that i’ve seen elaborated upon in other works, is the SHIFT in how business marketing is framed and carried out relative to the evolution of the social web. In Mr. Mertz’ terms, it’s a shift from MANAGING employees or SHOUTING at the public to ENGAGING with them, from EMAIL to COLLABORATION. People, he says, (and by this he means customers, consumers, and employees), are expecting and even demanding social engagement not only with friends, but with colleagues and businesses. i have repeated this trend to clients many times.
Without engaging the social web, the only way that businesses “get social” is to host face-to-face (F2F) events. These can be powerful and valuable, but are also costly and seldom include a couple of other key benefits: the ability of the host to answer a great number of questions in a short amount of time. Online communities and events such as those that Jive can create, save money over F2F events and Mr. Mertz’ numbers show 10-50x more questions answered, at 2x the speed of F2F. This is not unrelated to the fact that online events usually have no attendee limit, so there’s a greater total group, and that questions are often asked and answered within the attendee pool!
Adam’s final advice to us was to RUN to leveraging social media (because our competitors are), and to choose 1-2 key business imperatives to tie social to. i’m thinking that probably is a modest and low-risk place to start for the skeptic AND allows pretty good monitoring to see how those few specific areas might be changing based on adding a social variable.
business executives have less time and simply don’t use social media.
Find Adam Mertz on Twitter @adammertz.
i am not affiliated with Jive Software, nor have i used their products or services.