Surgical Social Media: the new challenge

August 31, 2013

Social media is the “audience of one”. As corporate understanding of this basic premise sinks in, pressure to correct the mistakes of the past and deliver future performance has never been greater. ¬†Surgical Social Media targeting the individual using global strategies.

Wait I think we are going the wrong way: direction

Social media now owns a significant portion of most corporate budgets. It was sold as the panacea for everything such as customer service, organic marketing, internal employee networks, legions of loyal brand ambassadors, etc. This inflated, but not unrealistic, expectation is putting great pressure on social media to deliver its long help promise of data, data data and ROI. The difficulty in achieving this largely stems from how corporations where initially introduced to social media. Companies turned to the resources they knew, their PR and advertising agencies. Therefore, it is not a surprise that social media planning looked at lot like existing media strategies. Media buy and high fan numbers at all cost were the preferred tactics. The unfortunate outcome was that these tactics run counter to successfully sustained social media and did not translate into the measurable results promised and set the stage for disappointment. Social media has always been about the individual Fan and the greater the quality of the relationship with the Fan the stronger the ROI. Media buys and mass appeal dilute this relationship and later make it difficult to create “sustainable” ROI based on quality engagement and organic growth.

The magic of Big Data: misdirection

To further fuel the disappointment in ROI and organic Fan supported growth is a rebirth of big data. Corporations have started using the term “Big Data” as the savior to everything. Big data is almost the exact opposite of what social media is and can deliver. Social media can collect the data points for Big Data to interpret, but the capability of Big Data is to determine trends and patterns for large groups. Big Data works on a grand scale and not at the level of the individual.

Lessons to learn from ad networks: precision

Ad networks have become incredibly precise in their ability to target placement. Using data collected from cookies and other accessible information, a profile of the individual user is created. That profile is used to match advertising to have the greatest likelihood of influencing behaviour.  Over the years the ability to target ads has become very precise.

Surgical Social Media: experimental

Surgical social media is an expectation being put on agencies by their clients to build relationships at the level of the individual Fan and positively “effect behaviour” of those Fans using a strategy that generalizes across the larger demographic of the brand. The purpose of this is to leverage the best benefits of social media and still achieve results within the boundaries of business need and budget. Social media management agencies such as PRDA.Asia are using an increasingly sophisticated compliment of tools and knowledge to achieve these results; proprietary monitoring, day parting, application parting, KOL engagement, key word optimization, active responding, engagement, demographic segmentation, etc all play a part in creating a strategy that values the audience of one and delivers good business results.

Ad networks are quick and efficient method to accurately target fans but they have low engagement rate (CTR) and no lasting effect. Social media is more complex and labour intensive but the effects deliver strong and more lasting behaviour change.