The Terrible 2014 CMO Guide to the Social Landscape

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Yesterday, I had this post completed and was just about to click publish when I knocked a beer over on my laptop. I hope it wasn’t karma coming to kick my butt. The laptop survived, but somehow the blog post disappeared. I’m writing this post with the faint smell of beer in the background to remind me to keep my snarkiness down.

Here’s the thing, I think this is a terrible infographic. Visually, it lacks any telling of an overall story whatsoever. It’s simply a collection of opinions gathered from articles and reports that – I believe – would do a terrible disservice to a corporation’s approach to applying a great social media strategy to engage and build its business online. It’s not segmented for B2B, B2C, size of business nor industry segment. Ugh.

  • First and foremost, the lack of any mention of the human aspect of social terrifies me. Brand awareness is not the same as human interaction. Seeing a logo is brand awareness. Gathering authority and trust online, driving more visitors to convert is a human interaction that requires emotional engagement. I don’t believe brand awareness is a primary aspect of utilizing social media platforms, I believe building a personal reputation is. People trust people… and some of those people work for brands. I don’t have dialogue with nor read the opinions of brands online, I talk, share and buy from people.
  • I don’t care about traffic. Traffic doesn’t matter unless traffic drives business results. Behavior and conversions matter more than traffic. I can go buy ads that drive hundreds of thousands of views to a website, it doesn’t matter unless that traffic is relevant, interested, and leads to a path to conversion. LinkedIn is “ok” but Facebook is good? For whom?
  • The social media landscape is not about platforms, it’s about what they do well and don’t do well to help businesses communicate with their prospects and customers. Instead of the platforms, this should speak to what content you’re able to share, how you’re able to share it, and what the customer or prospect can do with it. Can they communicate about it? Can they amplify your message to more relevant audiences? Can they purchase from it? Platforms will come and go, but the social behavior is the key.
  • Customer communication doesn’t matter, customer intelligence does. What’s the sentiment of your brand online? How are you recognized compared to your competition? What are people in need of in your industry? Are you managing your reputation well? Are you servicing your customers well in a social setting where your customer service capabilities are publicly shared? What are you doing with the unrelenting volume of data and intelligence that is out there about your prospects and customers?
  • No discussion of mobile (outside of Instagram’s app), local, and social advertising? The three aspects of social media that are generating the most development, buzz and results? How about how each platform can be leveraged across devices and targeted so effectively? I can’t believe there’s no information on this when you speak to the landscape of social media.

I don’t even want to get into how SEO made it onto the table. If you want to check out a great infographic that can help your social media marketing efforts, check out A Field Guide to Navigating Social Media, How Businesses are Using Social Media, Social Local Mobile and 36 Rules of Social Media for some useful information.

I truly love – I’m reading some amazing information and advice there every single day, but this infographic totally misses the mark for the average marketer to utilize social media effectively. Don’t just slap a table into Photoshop and call it an infographic. Get a professional infographic design and tell a story that marketers can understand, devour, believe and share!

You can check out this infographic and disagree with me. I’d like to know, though, what actionable advice you gathered from this infographic and how you will put it to use for your business.


What do you think?

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