Drew McLellan is the owner of McLellan Marketing Group
In general, we assume too much. In marketing we assume WAY TOO much. I was reminded of this truth when I was reading the new study done by Pivot about the social landscape and how it is evolving.
Here's part of their intro: "Each year, the Pivot team studies the evolving social landscape. For our 2012 -2013 "State of Social Marketing" report, we surveyed social marketers and digital strategists who represent agencies and brands. What we learned is that the fundamental drivers for social media have radically transformed."
They go on to explore all the ways people's use and perceptions of social media has shifted over the past year. But the two questions/graphs that really struck me were these:
The first question -- do you know who is accessing your social media content/connecting with you there?
Amazingly -- 38% of these professionals said no, they don't. That begs the question...why. Well, here's why.
The reason they don't know who they're talking to is because they aren't even talking to them enough to find out why they're there.
Why? (I'm sure you're asking yourself that as you read this)
I think there are a few reasons.
We are still using social media as a one way communication tool: Rather than recognizing that social is a dialogue, most marketers are still treating it like a monologue. Since we think we're supposed to do all the talking, we don't bother finding out who we're talking to or what they need.
We're afraid to ask: This isn't just a problem in social media - it's true in general. You've heard the expression "don't ask a question if you don't want to hear the answer." Well, unfortunately, marketers, business owners and leaders have taken that to heart. They're so afraid of the feedback they might get, they shut down the opportunity.
We don't actually believe it matters: Of the three, this is the most dangerous. It means you're just going through the motions but you don't believe social media can actually impact your business. If you are just going through the motions -- stop. All you're going to do is damage your brand and alienate your customers. It's better to stop doing it than do it badly or without sincerity.
While this study was focused on social marketing -- the insight is broader. Without understanding who you're talking to and what matters to them -- you'll never connect with your customers or prospects.