I’ve been fortunate enough to host some fascinating Influence People conferences during 2010. I’ve tried to keep a note of my favourite quotes from each and, collectively, they amount to some highly condensed social media wisdom. Here are my top 10:
“There’s no cure for sucking”
It sounds obvious, but this pearl of wisdom from Mark Schmulen (GM of Social Media, Constant Contact) highlights the fact that, in social media, there’s really no way to hide your inadequacies. If your product is crap and you promote it via social media, expect to be told so, loudly and rudely.
“It’s not about the numbers, its about the story behind them”
Does your amp go to 11? No… huh. With social media monitoring and measurement, it’s easy to be blinded by numbers. But as Cory Hartlen from Radian6 pointed out at Monitoring Social Media New York, the real skill is in finding the story behind the numbers.
“Prepare methodically and react fast”
Guy Esnouf, Director of Communications at E.ON UK, the power company,gave this advice for PR’s in our world of real-time communications at a CIPR event (not one of ours) . Apparently his team prepares videos and courses of action for a whole range of scenarios – and put this into action during the high-profile environmental protests at Kingsnorth Power station earlier in 2010.
“Don’t measure what you can. Measure what you should”
One of the most innovative PR’s in social media, Philip Sheldrake came out with this snippet during my Monitoring Bootcamp in London in March. His criticism was targeted at some of the new monitoring and measurement tools (such as Klout) which claim to accurately measure the intangible (or “soft”) benefits of social media engagement.
“Don’t compete for the moment, compete for the future”
During Brian Solis‘ keynote address at MSM Paris he echoed the words of Guy Esnouf (above). His point was, it’s very social media 1.0 to be simply listening and responding. To gain a competitive advantage you need to think beyond the now – and plan ahead. Know who you’re listening to, why and how you want to influence them through your engagement with them.
“Free monitoring tools confuse the market. They make it look easy. It isn’t”
This was something Zach Hofer-Shall from Forrester stressed during his panel discussion at our monitoring event in Boston – and it was a recurring theme of our monitoring conferences all year. Social media monitoring requires time and knowledge to extract real value, otherwise you’re like to get dodgy data and simply confirm your assumptions.
“The more you segment, the fewer advertisers you compete with, the more the price comes down”
Ankur Shah from Techlightenment (which provides Facebook Ad management services) dropped this practical insight into his presentation at Social Media Advertising 2010 in London. Unlike traditional ads, where you pay more to advertise to niche market segments, with Facebook ads, the better targeted to get your ads, the less you pay. Sound advice for social media advertisers.
“Surely, that’s what interns were invented for?”
When the discussion of social media overload was raised at MSM Boston in October, Paul Gillin stepped in with this one-liner. It’s was a great quip to highlight a serious issue. You wouldn’t want interns engaging on your behalf, but sifting through data and highlighting issues – sure.
“I plan to outlive them”
My absolute personal favourite of the year comes from the irrepressible Katie Delahaye Paine at MSM Boston when she was asked how she proposed to deal with the people in social PR who simply don’t accept that ROI should no longer be measured in strict financial terms, but instead through engagement metrics. Talk about taking the long view. Pure class!
“Social media marketers are in the entertainment business”
This is actually something I tell my clients – but I think it’s worthy of a mention here. It’s the one thing big corporates continue to struggle with – and the main reason most corporate blogs fail dismally. Social media requires an element of fun, dammit, we’re only human!