Salesforce Marketing Cloud CMO Michael Lazerow and tech blogger Robert Scoble spoke at LeWeb in Paris about social media and the state of marketing in the industry. You can check out the highlights from the conversation in Jeffrey Cohen’s recap, but there is one part that really stood out to me, which you can view at the 2:45 mark of the video below:
Michael: We’re undergoing a massive exchange of value between companies and consumers. So companies, your main goal is to provide value. So many clients ask me, ‘what’s the value of a fan?’ We’ve been hearing that for five years. Let’s stop asking that question. The real question is, ‘what value do you provide to your consumers, potential consumers, to the industry?’
So if this is the new question that you should be asking, what does this mean for the way you should approach your social media strategy? Here are a few ways to take action inspired by the shift in focus from the value of a fan to the value provided to your fans.
Value Takes Many Shapes
There’s a common misconception that providing value to fans on social networks means giving them a coupon or discount. While this is one way to give fans something of worth, it’s far from the only way to do it. Sending out a helpful tip of the day, information on a new product, or a behind-the-scenes look at the making of a commercial all fall well within the definition of value for fans without necessarily breaking the bank. Think about the other ways in which your fans would benefit from information you provide.
Listen Before Acting
Your fans have agreed to enter into a relationship with you on social networks for one or more reasons. Make sure you are listening, both qualitatively through asking, and quantitatively through your social data, to figure out whether you are actually providing value to your fans or not.
Know the Signs of a Job Well Done
To expand on the previous point, there are two ways to know whether your fans and followers are receiving value from the information you are providing. You can look qualitatively or quantitatively at data to determine whether you are on the right track. In looking qualitatively, you are mining through comments on Facebook, @mentions on Twitter and comments on other social networks to determine the sentiment around how people are responding to your content. You can also look at the data provided by social networks and social marketing suites to see trends over time and the types of content that perform best. Realistically, it’s best to look at both to get a clear picture of what works and does not work when trying to provide value to your fans.
Remember What’s In It For You
I’ll bring back Michael’s interview for this section because I think he tells it best:
Michael: I think if you get that exchange in value correct, what happens is consumers give you access to their friends, their interests, and their friends’ interests. And when you combine that, you have a tremendous amount of data, a unified view of a customer as a business, and so when someone walks into Burberry of the future, instead of them not knowing, they say, ‘Welcome back Mike, did your wife like the trenchcoat? I have something to show you.’ Not that they remember everyone, but their handheld devices, where it triggers that they’re there, with basically what to do next. So it’s turning all of this data into insight, and the insight, that’s what drives the action.