Earlier this week, I posted a quick note on the ClickAwayCreative Google+ page about an article I came across on ThinkWithGoogle in which they interviewed Wendy Clark, Coca Cola's SVP of Integrated Marketing Communications and Capabilities.
In the interview, Ms. Clark closed with a powerful thought that has been rolling around in my noggin all week: the idea - the truth - that the humanness of the web is what can (should) truly power a brand's social efforts. It is in leveraging the humanity of the web's power to connect in a very real, tangible way that we can reflect the truth that business, no matter how small or how large, is people living their lives, trying to reach goals.
As I have been meeting with clients across the country, that statement summarizes the tools and programs we have been building. I have just never been able to describe it so succinctly until now...which is funny given the fact that it so clearly mirrors my own philosophy to doing business.
At its very core, this is the crux of where businesses seem to run into a hurdle in perspective when it comes to a social media program. Traditional marketing has been about forcing a message and tracking a return on that investment.
Social media, on the other hand, is a conversation. A relationship. And just like any real relationship, the "return on investment" is nebulous. It may or may not be direct. It may be in a friend introducing you to someone new rather than becoming deeper friends with that first friend. Maybe you do more things with your current friend. Maybe your friend just tells you funny jokes that make you laugh.
Offline, it is when we step back and appreciate the breadth and depth and diversity of our Lives that we see how we are richer for our social network. And the same is true online. The investment in social is an investment in the tapestry of a business' Life. There are benefits today and benefits tomorrow for tending our connections.
That ROI is different altogether, isn't it?