Had a good conversation with a client the other day about social media churn.
As usual, we were both lamenting the lack of really good junior- to mid-level talent in the digital space. Sure, there are a TON of people out there with the experience to do some of these jobs. But, doing them WELL? That’s another story.
The bigger issue though–is “the churn.” Or, the “revolving door effect.”
The fact that you hire social media/digital talent, they stick around for a year or two, and they’re gone. Off to greener pastures. Off to a bigger role.
Leaving you stuck–and holding significant business risk.
Let’s look at a few of the more specific risks for businesses:
Social accounts often go dark–for months at a time
When a company loses a vital piece of its social media talent, social accounts often go completely dark for 3-4 months at a time while the company seeks to rehire for the position. That might not seem like the end of the world, but what if you have customers asking you questions on Twitter that are going unanswered? What if you miss a significant opportunity to engage a group of folks who are talking about your brand in association with a national event? Going dark means you most likely don’t have ANYONE managing or reviewing your social accounts on a daily basis. Sure, this isn’t a big problem for the Fortune 500–they have teams of people and agencies managing accounts and creating content. But, what about everyone else? For everyone else–it’s a problem. A big problem.
Lost momentum=Lost social accounts=Lost brand awareness
Losing a key piece of social talent also invariably leads to a big loss in momentum internally. Think about it. Good digital folks aren’t just good at the execution, they’re internal evangelists for digital marketing and PR. In case you missed the recent CIPR study, senior PR leaders aren’t exactly “digitally savvy”. So, these junior and mid-level social folks are really guiding a lot of strategy–even if they shouldn’t be. And, they’re often THE voice for digital within the company. Or, at the very least, they’re ONE of the voices. If you lose one of those voices (or THE voice), you take a big hit in momentum. A hit that may take months (if not a year in some cases) to recover from.
What if a crisis pops?
This is probably the risk that should keep most senior leaders up at night. Lose your key social talent, and what happens if you experience a real-life crisis? Who’s watching Twitter? Who’s sitting in the meeting providing counsel about how to handle social? Who’s advising your senior leaders about how to use their personal LinkedIn and Twitter accounts? I’ll tell you who–people who don’t understand the full picture. THAT’S a business risk folks. A big one. Yet, we see companies falling into this trap every month because of the revolving social media door.
What’s the solution for brands? Well, that’s not my problem (thankfully). But, if it WERE my problem, I’d focus on keeping my key digital talent happy. And, I’d work to find valued contractors I could work with at a moment’s notice to plug gaps when I have them (I realize that sounds self-serving coming from me, but that’s what I would do if I were in that seat).
But that’s just me. What do I know about such things? I’d like to hear from readers on this one. Specifically those of you who manage teams–what have you done that’s worked?
There’s a Starbucks that’s less than a mile from my house. To say I visit it frequently is probably an understatement. The baristas know me and my drinks by name. It’s sad, really.
I’m usually visiting this Starbucks during the morning rush. During that time, the line can extend out the door (side rant: Only in Minnesota). Point is: there’s usually a long line.
And people in that line are often on their phones (another common situation you see below–had to playfully pick on my PRSA friends just a bit :). In fact, I’d say a full 90 percent of the people are looking down at their phones while in line. 9 out of 10 people! And, I’d also say, given the demographics of our neighborhood (this Bux is RIGHT next to a school) that most of these folks at 40-plus.
Strangely enough, I’m usually the one in 10 persons who’s NOT on their phone. I do it so much during the day, I’ve learned to find my breaks. Standing in line is a break for me.
I got to chatting with a gentleman the other day about this ongoing habit of people standing in line staring at their phones. His lament was the same as mine: If these people would just look up they might discover an interesting person to talk to in line. I know I certainly did that day.
And my local Starbucks certainly isn’t the only place this is happening. On the bus. On the train. In the grocery store. At the movies. It’s certainly no revelation that people are just completely hard-wired to their phones these days.
But I’m making a bold prediction: Among the 40+ crowd, I think you’re going to see a faction of people resist being tethered to their phones in 2015.
And by “resist”, I mean “unplug.”
Not all the time, but they are going to make a conscious effort to unplug when standing in line. When they’re on the train. When they’re driving for crying out loud.
Because enough is enough.
You see, I’m singling out that 40-plus crowd because, well, frankly, this is weird for us.
We didn’t grow up with cell phones. Heck, we didn’t even grow up with email (for the most part–I was 22 when I started using email). So, we don’t have the long and storied history with technology that today’s Millennials do.
So, I believe it will be easier for us to give up technology (just a bit) than our younger cohorts–even if it is for smaller chunks at a time.
Because that’s what it will be. Smaller chunks.
Not checking your phone while in line.
Resisting the urge to post that pic of that beautiful sunset to Instagram (guilty here–as recently as last week!).
And, not checking in on Facebook as often–for no real reason.
I think people in the 40+ group are reaching a tipping point. Just a hunch really–I don’t have any scientific facts to back this prediction up.
Just call is a gut hunch of a 42-year-old who’s a bit burnt out himself…
Note: Photo courtesy of Heather Cmiel.
In this week’s edition of the Talking Points Podcast,General Mills’ Kevin Hunt and I discuss:
* Recent Accenture survey highlights CMO’s thoughts’ on the future of digital marketing–including the stat that 35% of CMOs believe mobile will account for 50% of their marketing budgets in five years. Full story here:
* Every Company Is A Media Company – Here’s What’s Missing: Service. Is it time companies move past being publishers and think about providing value in different ways? Full story here:
* 10 New Marketing Job Titles You Should Get Used To Seeing. Content librarian, Gesture writer, Meme manager? Stop the madness, I say. We take a look at the future of digital marketing titles. Full story here:
* Why 34 minutes a day isn’t enough for your social media. Sounds like a post I might write 🙂 I think most of us know the answer to this one. Full story here:
* Everything I Learned about Brand Advocacy, Now Summarized by Taylor Swift. Andrew Eklund AGREEING with Taylor Swift on marketing strategy. What universe am I living in? What year is this? 🙂 Full story here:
* How a bank got Reddit talking about Roth IRAs. Really interesting case study here featuring a pretty regulated industry (financial services) and a pretty traditional company (Transamerica). Full story here:
Remember, we try to keep the podcasts to around 30 minutes–so you can listen during your commute, on your drive in to your job, or while you’re mowing the lawn.
Last week at the Solo PR Summit in Atlanta, I had the opportunity to present TWICE to a group of 80-100 solo PR counselors from around the country.
The first topic I presented on: Facebook advertising. The second: Keeping up with social media.
This isn’t a topic that’s specific to solo PRs by any stretch. Almost *everyone* I talk to struggles with this in one way, shape or form.
So, I thought I’d share my strategies for how I try to pull it off. Note I say “try”. Admittedly, I struggle, too. I struggle with getting sucked into Facebook each day. I struggle with professional FOMO. And, I struggle with keeping up on the glut of reading that I believe people like us need to do on a semi-regular basis.
I’m not promising any of these tips/approaches will alleviate your stress–but I hope you can find one or two takeaways in this presentation. I’ll be posting about a few more of the tips in this larger prezo in the weeks ahead.
Got any tips of your own? Share ’em in the comments! We can all get smarter together!
I’ve had it crammed down my throat for the last year-plus that this social media network is the NBT (next big thing for you rookies 😉 in social media.
I’ve had snap stats shoved down my throat (400 million snaps per day, whatever that means).
I’ve had Snapchat’s founder, Evan Spiegel, and his entitled behavior, shoved down my throat.
I’ve had media constantly telling me that Snapchat is the next IT social media tool for brands.
But is it really? Will Snapchat really ever be a linchpin in our social media marketing toolkit?
I’m here to say “no way.”
Let me tell you why:
We have no real evidence it is as big as “they” say it is
Despite Snapchat releasing its impressive 400 million photos shared number the last few months, we really don’t know as much about that number as we think we do. In reality, it may be 400 million snaps received, which is a bit different. We still don’t know how many people actually use Snapchat. How many unique snaps are taken each day. And how many people have downloaded the app. I’m just a bit skeptical. I’m not saying Snapchat doesn’t have big numbers–I’m just not convinced they’re as big as they’ve been letting on.
It’s still just a platform for kids
Yeah, I said it. Here’s why: Not to be a broken record, but we just don’t know the hard numbers because Snapchat isn’t sharing them. From all accounts, Snapchat is a platform that’s predominantly used by kids (teens and early 20-somethings, women mostly). My hunch is I don’t see a lot of the coveted 25-44 demographic using Snapchat. Heck, the high end of that demo probably hasn’t even *heard* of Snapchat yet. Now, that doesn’t mean Snapchat is doomed to fail. But it also means it’s not a sure-fire lock to be the next Facebook either.
Large-scale behavior change is hard to come by
Ask Google+ how hard building a social network is from the ground up. Despite their big “user numbers”, we all know Google+ remains a niche platform from a social networking perspective. Snapchat will see the same resistance. Building a social network from the ground up to 1.5 billion users, as Facebook as done, is incredibly hard. It doesn’t happen overnight. And, what’s more, people simply don’t have the time for all these different networks. You’ve seen the effects of network fragmentation the last couple years. Snapchat may just end up being another nice niche network–not the new behemoth people are casting it to be.
Everyone’s still using Facebook
Yes, Facebook’s numbers in the key teen demo are losing steam. But the network still has 1.5 BILLION users. And, in other demos, those numbers are still growing. And sure, marketers are frustrated with the recent algorithm changes. But users are still visiting Facebook daily. And spending as much time there as they have been in recent years. Like I said above, most people aren’t looking for 3-4 social networks to spend time. They just want one or two spots (max) to check in with and communicate with their friends and family. For the bulk of the population, that’s still Facebook. And, I don’t see that changing anytime soon. That’s my take. What do you think? Is Snapchat really the next big social platform? photo credit: Lauren(elle)n via photopin cc