Connect The Social Dots

by Jay Deragon on 07/06/2011

While many if not all major brands are using social media most if not all miss the opportunity to “connect” all the dots.

How many brands have gone out with a “social media” campaign only to discover that they under estimated the power of the medium or failed to “connect” the internal supply chain with expected external demand? Many if not all.

An Example:

When Dunkin Donuts used social media to launch a campaign for Free iced coffee many went to their local Dunkin Donuts only to find that their local store was not participating. Here are some of the reactions from the “crowd”:“talk about false advertising, or at least misleading, dunkin should be ashamed”

“We were told in Boston that Massachusetts wasn’t participating free ice coffee day. I always go to Dunkin Donuts, but I think it’s time to start giving Honey Dew my business.”

“Is this a viral marketing scam to get us into the stores, find out there is NO free iced coffee today so 90% of us will buy something anyway? Maynard, Concord, Acton MA locations had no idea what I was talking about when I went in”

The problem was the promotion was only happening in select markets across the country. What, Dunkin Donuts didn’t realize there are no geographic boundaries to “social media”? Or maybe they failed to put a disclaimer on their campaign. As if that would not have helped.

There are many other examples of brands not thinking about the implications and related dynamics of using social media. What becomes obvious is that those appointed as “heads” of social marketing are failing to “connect” their message, the medium and the related implications of their actions with the rest of the “body”.

The Human Network Is Connected & Interacts

Organizations have historically had common problems of “silo actions” by departments or individuals not being connected systemically with other people and processes. Subsequently the aim of organizational acts misfire, create variation, increased cost and the cycle of destructive forces goes around and around the corporate merry-go-round.

Ask any employee of any good sized company if they knew what the other departments were doing or had done. What answer would you likely get? No idea!

Today the “disconnection” of people, processes and technology is one if not the most significant threat to organizational survival in a “connected world”. The reason this is true is simply. While your organization may not be “connected” and “communicating” the people and the market are and the difference is transparent. If your head is not connected to your body well that means the body cannot perform as the head wishes or commands.

Before you think about running a “social media campaign” (which is yet another marketing scheme) ask the “body” the following questions first:

  1. Do you know what social media is?
  2. If people respond to your message how will you respond to them?
  3. If people ask about your use of social media how will you respond?
  4. Would you share your message with your friends?
  5. What do we need to do to be prepared for people’s response?

How well are your social dots connected ?

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