Which Part of Social Media Sells?

by Jay Deragon on 12/14/2009

Everyone everywhere is selling “social media” products and services. I often wonder which part of social media  are they selling.

In an earlier post titled “Do You Sell Social Media Snake Oil” we said “Using social media effectively demands mind-sets and capabilities that are unfamiliar and sometimes even counter intuitive to many business managers. Business managers should allow themselves and the entire organization time to unlearn and rethink everything before they “jump into” social media.  Most are following those who haven’t unlearned and rethought how, where, when,who, why and what they communicate which ultimately produces results, good bad and indifferent.”

Which Part Do You Sell?

In another post titled 4 Component Functions of Social Media we suggested the functions are:

  1. Administration
  2. Listening & Learning
  3. Thinking and Planning
  4. Engagement & Measurement

Each function produces value to the preceding function  and value is passed back and forth between each function  in the form of feedback data for improvement. Thus, unless you measure the qualitative issues that create the qualitative impact you cannot change or produce the end results effectively.

Knowledge is required to maximize the effectiveness of each function systemically. In other words not syncing all functions together with the right talent and knowledge sub-optimizes performance of the whole. Sub-optimization is wasteful and can hurt an entire effort while producing short-term results that could be misleading.

Selling or Managing Parts?

Everything has parts and without all the parts you really can’t produce an end product or service that a market wants to consistently consume. Too many companies are using different parts of “social media” but not using them holistically. Instead the market is filled with snake oil salesmen calling themselves social media gurus but few can offer a “systemic approach” to all four functions listed below.

There are daily if not hourly stories, developments and new releases all related to this thing called social media. Unless you can first understand your  system you cannot properly put any new information, new technology or innovation into proper context. Without a system you cannot decide the value of any new information or knowledge because it doesn’t fit into a functional process rather it may or may not fit into your system.

What Does Your System Look Like?

Whether an person or an organization you are managing a system aimed  at results. Results come from a series of interrelated processes working together to enable you or your organizations to create or reach the desired results.  Each process should be seamlessly aligned with other related processes so each works in sync with the other interactively. Otherwise you end up producing waste, rework, failures and increased cost. Worse yet if you use social media without having a system you could alienate your market, internally and externally over the long haul.

The illustration below depicts the “systemic functions” (parts/processes) of social media. This is an overview and not complete but relevant to thinking correctly.  We believe that unless you “connect” the parts and do so effectively and efficiently you will not produce desired results over the long haul.  What part of social media sells? All of them connected together.

social media systemic parts

Inter-connected Value Creation

So we ask, which process creates the greatest impact on social media ROI? Notice the end result in the graphic above reflects that results comes from all the inter-related decisions on how well each process/function is connected. Seth Godin says social media is a process. I’d say it is a system of inter-connected processes.

In order to make good decisions each  process and all the people involved in the process needs the relevant knowledge. People given the right knowledge, the opportunity to continuously learn and processes to apply knowledge enables  good decisions that produce results!

See video of this post here


{ 15 comments }

Mitchell July 15, 2013 at 11:30 am

The tips is very intriguing.

Chad Levitt May 19, 2010 at 8:50 pm

Which Part of Social Media Sells? http://bit.ly/5ZCyky

Johan Kloster March 22, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Which Part of Social Media Sells? http://bit.ly/bAfMuG

janlgordon March 15, 2010 at 11:18 am

Which Part of Social Media Sells? | The Relationship Economy…… http://bit.ly/5ZCyky Great information! #socialmedia

SEO, SEM, Social December 20, 2009 at 4:29 pm

#smallbusiness Which Part of #SocialMedia Sells? – http://ow.ly/NZVI http://ow.ly/16bGVm

Mitch aka Misupilami December 20, 2009 at 4:05 pm

Which Part of #SocialMedia Sells? – http://ow.ly/NZVZ

MediaCluster GmbH December 20, 2009 at 4:05 pm

Which Part of #SocialMedia Sells? – http://ow.ly/NZVI

Jane Louwerenburg December 16, 2009 at 7:16 am

Which Part of Social Media Sells? | The Relationship Economy…… http://bit.ly/5ZCyky

Red Cube Marketing December 16, 2009 at 4:50 am

Which Part of Social Media Sells? http://ow.ly/MC0Z

ken bane December 14, 2009 at 7:30 pm

RT @ChaseUNBOUND: Which Part of Social Media Sells? | The Relationship Economy…… http://bit.ly/5ZCyky #socialmedia #marketing #wom # …

Marcin Kalkhoff December 14, 2009 at 2:57 pm

Which process creates the greatest impact on #socialmedia ROI? http://bit.ly/7G6Mk7

Chase McMichael December 14, 2009 at 2:53 pm

Which Part of Social Media Sells? | The Relationship Economy…… http://bit.ly/5ZCyky #socialmedia #marketing #wom #brand #

Roxanne Allaire December 14, 2009 at 2:30 pm

RT @WarrenWhitlock: Which Part of Social Media Sells? | The Relationship Economy…… http://bit.ly/5ZCyky

Amadou M. Sall December 14, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Which Part of Social Media Sells? | The Relationship Economy…… http://bit.ly/4V9f8x

Warren Whitlock December 14, 2009 at 2:11 pm

This got me thinking about systems. People like systems and process maps.. maybe I should draw one.

Meanwhile, I’ll keep preaching “Listen and Love” .. before you even think about using social media as “another medium to spread my message” just LISTEN to the conversations that people are already having about you, your product, your industry and their concerns.

Then let them know you LOVE them. That is, leave a comment, say “Thank You” or fix their problem.

Listen and Love. It’s as simple as that

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