Two weeks ago I was on a panel for the AC Nielsen Center for Marketing Research at UW talking about social media and market research to executives from Wal-Mart, General Mills, Kraft, Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson and 50 or so others. I was asked to share some lessons learned about SM – from the perspective of a brand marketer.
Here are my lessons learned personally and professionally over the last 10 years working in this space.
- What people say to each other is more important than what we say to them.
- People no longer rely on brands for information.
- Advocates are more important than influencers.
- Brand mentions are just the tip of the iceberg – somewhere between 5% and 30% of the relevant category conversation. You should listen to the whole conversation.
- If you want to participate be helpful, human and humble.
- When you participate, put the community’s interests & motivations first.
- Connect to existing passion, don’t just make stuff up.
- If you want new ideas, look beyond your category.
- Brand advocacy is the most important metric today – are people recommending your brand to others.
I could elaborate – for a long time on each of these, but you get the gist.