— blending the mix

In 2011, 70% of all social media activity will fail

Dontcha just love a sensationalist headline? But this is the prediction made by Gartner in their 2011 predicitons article.

Brian does a fantastic job of nailing why this is – it is down to planning, which goes back precisely to my post earlier in the week about why the social media industry needs a lesson in analytics, and why Geoff’s post is so timely too – so many social media campaigns are done by practitioners who can USE social media, but do not define:

1. Their objectives

2. How those objectives can be measured (i.e. what metrics are relevant for the channels and content being created)

3. How to interpret the analytics (i.e. are the objectives being met successfully and how can this guide content creation)

Some of this is down to a lack of understanding of the capabilities of the channel, some of it is down to a lack of awareness of the available metrics on each channel, but I think this is largely down to laziness – we’ll simply use Twitter or Facebook because “that’s where the fish are” – it’s easier to sell in and produce something like everyone else than it is to come up with something innovative which also delivers something of value.

There’s a sound logic to using these channels, so I am not for one minute saying “ditch your Twitter activity now”, but for agencies to stand out from the crowd, they are going to have to look beyond these channels as stand-alone entities. Let the social media channels be social – have then talk to each other and integrate seamlessly with each other in the same way that Shiv suggests Facebook Connect may have done in this presentation (back in 2008!):

There’s a great piece worth reading here which briefly discusses the need for intergated creativity – a fantastic phrase which gets to the heart of where your head needs to be at to stand out. Sure, Facebook and Twitter have their places in a campaign, but how are they integrating and at the same time continuing to deliver value?

Whatever you think of Jeremiah’s visual from April 2009 (below), we are undeniably at a stage where social integration need to happen to create more value for people – customers don’t care what channels you are skilled to use, or worse – have time for. They care that they are being tended to, cared for and ultimately getting what you promise them.

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Geoff Livingston, Andrew Bruce Smith and others. Andrew Bruce Smith said: Hot on the heels of B2B PR, now it's the turn of social media to fail in 2011 (according to @paulfabretti) http://bit.ly/exEtWu […]

  2. Ian Delaney says: January 7, 20116:38 pm

    In 2006-2010, 70% of all social media activity also failed. But no-one noticed because it was “hey we’ve got a bazillion twitter followers”. It’s got to be positive that people actually have a meaningful criteria for success and failure.

  3. Anonymous says: January 7, 201110:43 pm

    Thanks for stopping by Ian. I think you are of course, correct that at least there is some consideration for measurement, however inappropriate it may be for the activity being undertake.

    That said, there remain too many brands and particularly agencies, who do not simply understand which metrics are relevant to which objective and channel.

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