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Monday, March 7, 2011

Don't forget the PRIVATE Social Media
I think marketers are getting it about half right when they say things like “It's super-interesting to literally see the "water cooler" conversation come alive through Twitter and FB.”  Why are they just half right?  Because there’s an implication that all that word of mouth was meaningless until Twitter and Facebook somehow made it relevant.

In reality little has changed in the impact or the value of conversation around the water cooler.  Rather it’s the marketer’s ability to begin to partially listen in that has changed.  I say partially because still it’s only a glimpse of what is being communicated about any given brand. Brands that are making the effort to listen in are hearing some of the Public side of social media, but they are still totally missing the Private social media that is out there and growing (through text messaging, emails, phone conversations, and yes even face-to-face conversations). 

There are lots of great reasons to be monitoring Twitter and Facebook, and lots of firms willing to provide their service or sell you their analytical tools.  There’s really no excuse not to be listening in and getting an early warning of consumer perceptions about your brand.  The problem is when the management team assumes that the small group of individuals it identifies that are writing about in the public social media is representative of all word of mouth that is circulating about their brand.  In reality it can be critical in some product categories (e.g. restaurants, movies, music, cruises, hotels, etc.) but less meaningful and even deceptive in providing insight into the customer experience in many other categories.
9:33 pm est          Comments

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