Social Media and the Marketer: You Need To Do It To Know How To Use It

Recently Forrester Research came out with a report focusing on the fact that today’s Chief Marketing Officers are woefully inexperienced personally with social media, and that this is a huge problem.  As author Chris Stutzman argues, you need to become deeply involved with social media on a personal level in order to know how to take advantage of it for your business.   And if you aren’t, there is no way you truly can.  He goes on to point out that so few CMOs are using social tools that they can’t possibly orchestrate the brand experience and understand the social impact on the customer, the competition, and the company.

This follows research from SeekOmega from earlier this year that found that only 15 of the 143 CMO’s and Chief Communication Executives in the Fortune 100 even have active Twitter accounts.  And better yet, 15% have a “net zero social footprint”- meaning no social presence at all.  As SeekOmega commented, “If the Fortune 100 are any indication, the investment in Social is being led by a group of people that have remarkably little personal experience in Social Media and Social Networks”.

I’ve written about the need for modern marketers to become deeply engaged with social media in my post: “The Five Disciplines You Need To Know To Practice Marketing Today“.    I would expand the Forrester report conclusions to say that not only do CMO’s need to be deeply involved with social, but this also applies to anyone involved in marketing, sales or running a business today.

So, are you wondering whether you’re in danger of wearing the social dunce cap?Here’s a handy way to get a sense of how you’re doing.  Ask yourself
3 questions: a) Do I have a blog and am I posting at least once a month?  b) Am I regularly engaging my followers on Twitter and sharing something at least once a day?  c) Do I know what my Klout score is and track it (or something similar) regularly as a measure of my social influence?    If your answers are: a) “Uh…. A blog? (who has time for that?)”;  b) “Twitter- isn’t that where people share what they had for breakfast?”; and c) Klout….ummmm-what’s that….?”–  then Houston, we have a problem.

So as you think of how all this applies to you, I’ll leave you with some parting words to ponder from SeekOmega’s report (as you struggle to find the missing password on your dormant Twitter account):

All signs point towards a massive shift in consumer behavior from consumption of information from traditional media sources to information and content found in social media and networks. The goal then becomes one of  engagement with potential and current customers at all times.

Unlike traditional media however, marketers can have real one-on-one discussions with their community by leveraging social media tools. This is an incredible advantage over those executives still relying on traditional, indirect ways of reaching their consumers.

But how would your CMO know?

As NYU Professor Clay Shirky has written, Social Media is one of 5 historic revolutions in human communication tools (the first revolution being the printing press).  This is not temporary, and it’s not a minor fad.  It’s
as seismic a change in communication as happened with the telephone, which means the world will be a very very different place when this innovation unfolds.  And the entire marketing landscape will be completely altered when it does.


John’s digital experience dates back over two decades, to before the web was born. He is currently VP Marketing for Advance Digital, and is a regular writer and speaker on topics including Search, Social Media, Content Marketing, Local Media and the Digital Marketing Revolution.

2 responses to “Social Media and the Marketer: You Need To Do It To Know How To Use It

  1. Pingback: Marketers Confused By Twitter Need To Get Over It | John H. Denny

  2. Pingback: Social Media Marketing: The Revolution In An Eyeblink | John H. Denny

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