The second and closing day of the 2013 Pivot Conference saw the focus shifted to how organizations and large brands can leverage their online efforts to tie into results that are aligned with that of the organization. Through some very interesting insights from the speakers – and attendees – here are my unauthorized takeaways.
Internal social practice was front-and-center when it came to using Social to not only help collaboration but also drive team efforts. Engaged employees are more creative and are more likely to give you their best. If the employees feel comfortable in the culture they can do their best work.
The past few years have given rise to the Social Executive. These individuals are, when used properly, the vision that helps navigate the business through the waters of uncertainty. They must be critical of their online efforts and how they translate into bottom line driven results. They are analysts, creatives, and tacticians all rolled into one dynamic leadership role. They must stay focused on messages and how it translates out to the public. But that messaging must start internally so the entire firm understands it and the organization as a collective can speak to that messaging. A key part is that being a successful and transformative business begins from the inside out.
The content conundrum was also a key part of the day. We know in order to reach the connected consumer, it’s no longer acceptable to just broadcast. Your organization – from top to bottom – must be involved in the conversations happening about your brand. It’s not control but participation that will protect the firm and add to its success. Engaging and activating employees to be not only be involved but to participate, lead and shape internal conversations that spawn the ideas that eventually translate into actionable strategy. Remember, they next great idea can come from anyone in your organization. Lastly, this type of behavior helps the Social executive to be out there recruiting good talent that embraces this type of culture. The two are interdependent.
Brand monitoring social metrics have evolved. No longer is it about followers and likes but more complicated metrics that are combined into understanding sentiment and the persona of the brand’s audience – and it happens in real time. Those brands that are doing this successfully are the ones that are changing the rules. They are winning and will continue to win. The integration of metrics, automation and CRM is a just the beginning in determining the value of media – ads or otherwise. The measurement of ROI is bleeding outside the lines of the dreaded ROI discussion that we are so familiar with. Firms acting on or offline have to approach these measurements from a 360-degree approach if they want to measure what is important and lay that against success or failure.
Content marketing is giving way to storytelling for many consumer brands that want to establish greater integrity and trust. Brands need to care about who is telling the story. Who are these people? How do they impact the efforts of the firm? That must be truly understood before it can be, and should be, measured. Adjustments that are made must take those who are talking about you into account.
The most powerful storytelling is not done by brands, but rather by third-party advocates. They are the difference between content marketing and storytelling. Stories don’t just provide information about the products or services. They connect on a personal level your audience can relate to. It offers credibility for the benefit of the brand. It creates a powerful connection that is often impossible when attempted by the brand itself. Self-published stories are good but an unaffiliated advocate is better.
Once again, the Pivot Conference challenged the status quo of thinking and pushed for change and a deeper understanding of the “Total Digital Experience.”
Patrick Healy, founder of Phacient and Pivot Conference Ambassador. Fin him at @patrickhealy.
©2015, The Tomorrow Project, LLC