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Social Media: How To Crack the Code in Social Media – It Takes Marketing Engineering June 17, 2008

Posted by John in social media.
Tags: ,

I’ve been tracking social media, social networks, RSS, Internet infrastructure, and online advertising for over 10 years. One thing that I notice is that hype can dilute reality.

There is so much “bull” being thrown around out there regarding social media it makes my head spin – blogging tools here, wikis there, engagement this, conversations that, metrics this, ROI need,..on and on.

The elephant in the room is that it’s early and no one has cracked the code on social media – how to define it, program it, deploy it, measure it, and scale it across their company.

Here is a good post from Mediapost Online Spin blog by Joe Marchese. He is hosting a panel to talk about this. His guest are Augustine Fou, SVP, digital strategist, MRM Worldwide, Greg Verdino, Chief Strategy Officer, Crayon, David Berkowitz, director of emerging media and client strategy, 360i, Rich Gagnon, Chief Media Officer, Draft FCB, Adam J. Broitman, director of emerging and creative strategy, Morpheus Media. Should be a good panel. These guys on Joe’s panel are at the cutting edge so I’m looking forward to hearing the discussion on Joe’s panel.

What’s relevant about Joe’s post is that he nails the market: summed up in a word – experimental.

He also goes on to note..”The even funnier thing is that this is both shocking and not surprising. It’s shocking, given the reach and depth of connection social media offers, yet not surprising because no one has unlocked social media in a way that demonstrates return on marketing objectives, such as reasonable expected range of outcome at for set amount of resource allocation. If you are a brand or an agency, there is not much more you can do but test various methods and watch longingly as your potential brand advocates and customers participate in a media category without you. But it’s not the end of the world, as long as your competitors don’t figure out how to benefit from social media in a scalable manner before you.”

I like this post because I’ve been doing research on cracking the code on social media specifically for over 3 years. I’ve run dozens of experiments before I started PodTech, while at PodTech, and now for the past 10 months after I left PodTech. The findings are interesting.

What does it take to crack the code on social media and social advertising? The answer might just be staring you in the face. It starts with getting the right people on the staff (expertise), running many experiments, having an realtime analytical audit, analytic audit analysis, and finally mindset based in reality.

The hardest part is finding the right people. It needs to be figured out by the right mix of personnel. It isn’t just PR or just marketing. On the personnel side it’s more like infrastructure engineering expertise. Social media is a based on web services so it takes “marketing engineering”. Marketing engineering isn’t the primary skill of PR executives. Instead it’s the business and technical programmers that have the expertise and knowhow. Successful social media teams have engineering backgrounds on the team.

The great thing about the web is it’s biggest problem for marketers in social media – Everything is Measurable. Does that suggest that the ROI problem doesn’t exist? The biggest challenge is to define what to measure.

How to crack the code in social media: put the right team together, run tons of experiments, know what to measure, and measure. The solution might just be staring you in the face.


1. Jo - June 18, 2008

The elephant in the room is that it’s early and no one has cracked the code on social media – how to define it, program it, deploy it, measure it, and scale it across their company.

Could be a university essay question. Discuss.

Marketers find social media hard because they aim to manipulate and control. I’ll ask one question, what will you use if you don’t use social media?

2. Social Media Secret Sauce ? It’s all BS - The Best has Yet to Come « Furrier.org - Business & Technology Blog - June 27, 2008

[…] I have been documenting many of my experiments of what works but there is no silver bullet. How to crack the code in Social Media. For insight into how to crack the code in Social Media Market… […]

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