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Kevin Dean
by Kevin Dean
on October 31, 2011

Organizations have spent hundreds of thousand of dollars in efforts to leverage social media. The problem is not the amount of money that they have spent, but what they are spending the money on. Many Executives have said, “I don’t understand the technology” so they think that spending money on technology will be the answer to their problems. This only leads to disappointment and failed social technology projects.

Failed Social Media initiatives adds credence to an Executive belief that Social Media is Bananas. "See I told you this Social Media mumbo jumbo doesn't work for our business!" is what they say after it their first failed attempt at executing a social media initiative. But as time goes by they notice that business performance continues to diminish and every business magazine that they pick up preaches how social media is the new way of doing business. So the reluctantly try approach number 2.

This time they say "I am going to take a data driven approach and use one of those newfangled social media monitoring tools and look for what people are saying about my company." How they excitement builds as they learn about hashtags and sentiment analysis. They even see a few small wins as they add a hashtag to that same messages that they sent out the first time. But still they still see no real impact to their bottom line. "Wasted time! This social media stuff in bananas!"

Why do people think that Social Media for business is bananas? Because they are looking at it from the wrong perspective. Success with Social Media for business is less about the technology and more about consumer behaviors. It is not a business initiative it is a business transformation.

Here is a simple question that will help you look at Social Media from a different perspective. What activities are my consumers engaging in that would stimulate curiosity in my product or service? This one simple question will help you gain insight to:

  • Consumer need
  • Conservations leading to need
  • Appropriate timing of consumer need
  • The location of the consumer need
  • How they are expressing that need

This one question is a step towards understanding consumer behavior. So that you can deliver to the right person, the right message, at the right time, in the right place. By doing this you can turn what was once though of as banana to a whole lot of cake.

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