Friday, September 13, 2013

Social CRM - The Implications of "Micro-Loyalty"

I've been spending a lot of time thinking about where we've landed as an industry in the social CRM space.  With the increasing demand from clients to develop social media strategies, it's easy to get swept up in campaign-land where we forget to think about the long term perspective of brand presence.  It's our own fault for racing towards building fan bases and creating one-off social content campaigns that are often wired with predictable contest models or leveraging sponsorship events.

Brands are competing with a constant fire hose of unbranded baby pictures, hilarious memes and links that deliver on the highly coveted WTF factor.  To make matters more complicated, the normalization of social media usage has diminished the value of likes in that it has fragmented to small moments in the consumer's mind.  What's happening, is that we're starting to delineate between liking content and liking a brand.  In my humble opinion, the best way to describe the current state of social CRM is "Micro Loyalty". It is the product of consumers learned generosity towards "liking" and of brands spraying hopefully likeable content throughout the channels. Over time, it has left a long trail of hits and misses.

Here are some implications that fall under this shift:
  • Inconsistencies in brand content littered throughout social channels that are visible through social search affecting the brands reputation and identity
  • Channel fragmentation that is re-consolidating through social search and content aggregator platforms
  • The need for a more consolidated "like" or engagement score as opposed to outright "fandom"
  • Time sensitive content strategies that are more loosely associated with core brand messaging
What's the opportunity:
  • Content strategies that lead the channels - not occupying channels to tick the box
  • Best in Channel content development - not re-purposed video or print ads
  • Re-visting metrics to create score cards that more accurately reflect brand perceptions
Brands, like individuals, need to remember that their activity doesn't just "disappear" when a campaign is through.  They must assume that it is tattooed on their faces.  Investing in longer term social strategies will ensure that brands are winning the "Micro Loyalty" game over time - as well as the shorter term.