What holds true in sport often applies to business also; not everyone can be a winner. And for businesses wending their way through the world wide web, engaging with customers is crucial. But how do you manage and measure such things? Say hello to social media management — but only if you’re a premier league player.
Saturday saw England lose to France in the Rugby Six Nations. As is often the case in rugby, when the attacking side gets close to the try line at the base on their opponents half of the field, all fifteen men are often gripped by “white line fever”. The parallels between business and sport are often lazily made, a cliche almost. But there they are none the less.
And so it is with those businesses easing themselves into the realm of social media management — they chase down the business behemoths and ignore the rest. But is that where the money is?
Earlier, I was to be found reading through a list of social media management systems. Yes, content management systems are now passé, apparently. Although I do well enough from them, as a web application aspect of Octane.
But, here I am, making lazy comparisons with sport again. First it was football and professionalism (no longer two words that are happy bed fellows, in light of the recent bed-hopping indiscretions of Messrs. Terry and Cole) and then it was football and questionable antics on LinkedIn, of all things.
So what is a social media management system?
Since SMMS is still relatively new, the standard features are still subject to change. That aside, here are some of the core features you’d expect to see.
Manage your social media profiles — Much like a content management system, a social media management system is about aggregating a particular kind of content. In this case, profiles for social media websites and social networks.
So, after you sign into your new SMMS, you’re presented with the option of granting access to your Pages on Facebook, Twitter accounts and YouTube Channels.
Create and share content — Like any marketing campaign, your efforts need to be coordinated, possibly across a team, across time zones, different languages, in addition to the various social media channels.
Analyze and measure engagement — All of your furious industry counts for nothing if you don’t know what happened to all of that great content you’re creating. So here’s where comments, clicks, votes, sentiment and distributed discussions are pooled and analyzed, helping you put a pounds and pence value on your investment.
All eyes on the prize
The list of social media management systems is concise, but sadly, the emphasis in most cases is on the enterprise prize at the expense of every other business, which prompted me to comment thusly:
There appears to be a mad dash towards the enterprise (a noble venture, assuming they have the time time and money to stick out the sales process through the myriad departments they’ll have to navigate), with hardly a look over the shoulder at the vastly more populous SMEs / SMBs who would be serviced and served just as well.
After all, if it wasn’t the case that small-to-medium sized businesses were being neglected in the social media gold rush, I would never have written my ebook, The Beginner’s Guide to Social Media, which wouldn’t have been downloaded well over a thousand times, and I would never have picked up new clients via social media as a result.
Whatever the reasons, these guys have their sights set on the enterprise. Perhaps it’s at the behest of their investors. Who knows. Either way, there’s a gap in the market, an opportunity for someone to develop a social media management system for the masses of businesses out there not in the Fortune 500 list, who don’t have a fleet of private jets, no international offices, nor a politician sympathetic to your cause.
Look at it this way, just the one client worth £30k a year might look better than ten clients worth just £3k. On the face of things, managing one client would appear to be simpler. But if you had to lose just one client, which would prefer; one worth £30k or one worth £3k?
So as I stand, looking across the field of play, the prize is staying true to the strategy, being mindful of the be-suited potential suitors in the executive box, but keeping in mind the goal of creating a genuine crowd pleasing, seat filling spectacle for years to come.