The great thing about social is that it provides a unique access to what customers are saying about your brands or their passions. And it gives everyone access to that. But social, in terms of inside the company and what they do with it, has been what I call the redheaded stepchild of the redheaded stepchild. And that is because the digital team is often the redheaded stepchild in an organization, and then the social team’s a subset of that.
And so social was pushed back, despite all the buzz it gets, it’s pushed back into the corner of two people that post to Facebook, and post to Twitter, and that equals social.
The way we think about social is that if you create interactive experiences, if you can create participation, if at the end of the day a marketer’s job is not to broadcast and push, but to facilitate participation, then the output of that is social interactions, content, and data. Now that data can be used for CRM, and for analytics, and all those things. The social content and what people sharing can also be used to amplify a message, to share beyond what might pass by very quickly in a stream, but get a lot more attention within a website, or an app, or an experience that a marketer might put out there.
So, social can be thought about as big data. Because it does create data. You can understand measurements, and trends, and empirical data. It creates qualitative data. But it also creates content. It also creates the authentic voice of customers, and what they’re passionate about, and what they’re talking about.
And it’s the marketer’s job to grab on to that. Just as it’s their job to grab on to big data and use it, grab on to the voice of the customer, and use that as working capital into everything they do. And at the end of the day you’re now a much more authentic and transparent brand. Because you just facilitating the voice of the customer through your brand experiences.