Monday, November 2, 2009

Don't Target Me!

"...most people who are members of online communities don't really want to be the targets of marketing campaigns..."

I have been and continue to be a loud voice regarding the need and value of utilizing social networks for radio stations.  But, the prize here is not only promotions and forced listening events BUT relationships and engagement on a higher level.   

Does your station offer something worthy of that deeper relationship?  Something interesting enough to cause two-way communication between the station, a station personality, and the listener(s).  Worthy of telling a friend?  Valuable enough to return a second, third, or forth time?  

Don't feel too bad, companies of all kinds are feeling the same pain.  Everyone is trying to figure it all out. 

 Mediabistro's WebNewser had this piece this morning:  

Companies Continue to Fund Social Media Initiatives (Even Though Many Really Don't Get It)

Shaky economy and tight budgets notwithstanding, companies still recognize the potential of social media to help their businesses.
Computerworld's Mitch Betts reports on a recent Deloitte LLP survey that shows an overwhelming percentage of respondents intend to "maintain or increase their investments in social media tools and online communities."
new_deloitte_logo.gifSpecifically, 94% of the 400 companies surveyed said they'd keep spending as much or more on social media going forward, with only 6% reporting they would cut social media spending.
This despite the rather primitive efforts to measure the ROI of social media. As Betts reports:

Businesses use metrics such as the number of active users and how many people post or comment to gauge the success of their social networking efforts.
And what are the top goals of corporate social media initiatives? Deloitte's 2009 Tribalization of Business Survey reports:

Increasing word of mouth -- 38%
Customer loyalty -- 34%
Brand awareness -- 30%
Idea generation -- 29%
Improved customer support quality -- 23%
There's a potential problem inherent in those numbers. As Deloitte concludes:
In the majority of companies surveyed, marketing continues to be the primary driver of online communities, resulting in a significant gap between community goals and the organizations' capability to fully leverage these communities on an enterprise wide basis.
In other words, most people who are members of online communities don't really want to be the targets of marketing campaigns. Yet that's what many companies see as the primary value and purpose of social media. That's a real disconnect.
You can read more details of the survey here.

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