10 Communications Objectives of Social Media

telephone game Douglas Walker has an interesting post where he wants to talk about metrics for social media. That’s great, and I encourage you to go over there and dig in and discuss that, but I have a question for you, for my own understanding. (Remember that I’m a technologist and not a marketer, so I sometimes come at this from a different direction.)

Walker says these are the 10 communications objectives for using social media (in a marketing sense):

  1. Generate awareness.
  2. Drive Trial.
  3. Product Launch.
  4. Establish Need/Want
  5. Product/Service Comparison.
  6. Positive Association.
  7. Form/Change Opinion.
  8. Influence the Influencers.
  9. Drive Action/Traffic.
  10. Establish/Regain Trust.

Now, maybe this language mirrors Marketing/Communications 101, and because I’m a technologist by trade, I just haven’t heard this. But if not, I found the list an interesting model/framework around which to contemplate the execution of social media marketing. I’m thinking there’s one missing to the tune of something like “community good will” or the like, or whatever one might call it when you’re not trying to sell, but instead are just proving that you’re a contributing human.

And that’s my question to you: do those 10 goals/objectives make sense for how you’re using social media?

I think it’s an interesting and worthwhile list. And like I said, go to Douglas’s site and comment on the measurement aspects, for those of you who are into measuring.

What’s your thoughts on those goals, though?

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  • http://www.ministrylive.org Ray Deck III

    I’d have to say that this list is pretty representative of how I have leveraged social media in the past. The above comment (yes, definitely oversimplified :-) ) notes that, “Public Relations is about building relationships”. But what if your product is relational? I work for a ministry that is very relationship oriented. Discipleship is at the heart of our ministry model, and oversimplified — relationships are our product.

    Social Media is not just PR, Marketing or Communications. For me social media has become a ministry method in and of itself.

  • http://www.ministrylive.org Ray Deck III

    I’d have to say that this list is pretty representative of how I have leveraged social media in the past. The above comment (yes, definitely oversimplified :-) ) notes that, “Public Relations is about building relationships”. But what if your product is relational? I work for a ministry that is very relationship oriented. Discipleship is at the heart of our ministry model, and oversimplified — relationships are our product.

    Social Media is not just PR, Marketing or Communications. For me social media has become a ministry method in and of itself.

  • http://shannonehlers.com Shannon Ehlers

    In spite of all the guides and lists, I think I usually just write something on my blog, or “Digg” something, or comment on your blog and others’ blogs, when I have something nice to share or when I want or need some feedback, or just as a way of sharing a bit of myself in a public arena. For a person who is by nature very private, this really illustrates the magic of social media – the ability to draw out some who might otherwise be “lurkers”.

  • http://shannonehlers.com Shannon Ehlers

    In spite of all the guides and lists, I think I usually just write something on my blog, or “Digg” something, or comment on your blog and others’ blogs, when I have something nice to share or when I want or need some feedback, or just as a way of sharing a bit of myself in a public arena. For a person who is by nature very private, this really illustrates the magic of social media – the ability to draw out some who might otherwise be “lurkers”.

  • http://carlweaver.com Carl Weaver

    Others have said this as well but I will throw my two cents in. Relationship is missing from the list. However, relationship is more of a “how” we do it than a “what” we do. I think the list is good for listing the what. Social media is largely about the how.

    Traditional sales folks in my space often will try to get everyone to buy. Part of my sales model is to help the buyer decide what he/she wants or needs and how I can help. Sometimes the best way for me to help is to help them see that they need some sort of other service or product. If I can help people figure this stuff out and give them a solution, even if it is elsewhere, I have built a relationship that will last for a long time.

    Sure, I’d love to have the money, but in the long run it is helping people that is most valuable and worthwhile.

    The goals listed in the post are not bad ones and are not even in conflict with social media. It’s all about how we approach it and use the newer tools to do the things that we need to do anyway.

  • http://carlweaver.com Carl Weaver

    Others have said this as well but I will throw my two cents in. Relationship is missing from the list. However, relationship is more of a “how” we do it than a “what” we do. I think the list is good for listing the what. Social media is largely about the how.

    Traditional sales folks in my space often will try to get everyone to buy. Part of my sales model is to help the buyer decide what he/she wants or needs and how I can help. Sometimes the best way for me to help is to help them see that they need some sort of other service or product. If I can help people figure this stuff out and give them a solution, even if it is elsewhere, I have built a relationship that will last for a long time.

    Sure, I’d love to have the money, but in the long run it is helping people that is most valuable and worthwhile.

    The goals listed in the post are not bad ones and are not even in conflict with social media. It’s all about how we approach it and use the newer tools to do the things that we need to do anyway.

  • Frank Neill

    Great post, Chris. And, the 10 listed are all approaches that companies take with their marketing efforts. This list applies to social media, traditional media, electronic media, etc. However, I tend to take a KISS (Keep it Simple, Stupid) approach to most things and marketing is no exception. There are really only Two marketing objectives:

    1) To get a specific target to DO something within a timeframe
    2) To get a specific target to believe something

    Every marketing goal can be traced back to the above. And, once you break a campaign down to it’s simplest form, it becomes measurable and trackable.

  • Frank Neill

    Great post, Chris. And, the 10 listed are all approaches that companies take with their marketing efforts. This list applies to social media, traditional media, electronic media, etc. However, I tend to take a KISS (Keep it Simple, Stupid) approach to most things and marketing is no exception. There are really only Two marketing objectives:

    1) To get a specific target to DO something within a timeframe
    2) To get a specific target to believe something

    Every marketing goal can be traced back to the above. And, once you break a campaign down to it’s simplest form, it becomes measurable and trackable.

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  • http://mgblankenship.blogspot.com Missy Blankenship

    1. Communicate.
    2. Collaborate.
    3. Connect.
    4. Create.
    5. Consider.
    6. Cooperate.
    7. Compare.
    8. Converse.
    9. Compel.
    10. Confide.

    All leading to the big “C”: CHANGE.

  • http://mgblankenship.blogspot.com Missy Blankenship

    1. Communicate.
    2. Collaborate.
    3. Connect.
    4. Create.
    5. Consider.
    6. Cooperate.
    7. Compare.
    8. Converse.
    9. Compel.
    10. Confide.

    All leading to the big “C”: CHANGE.

  • http://chrisbrogan.com chrisbrogan

    Wow. You sure had your opinions. : ) Glad you’re all here. That’s the proof to the pudding, eh?

  • http://chrisbrogan.com chrisbrogan

    Wow. You sure had your opinions. : ) Glad you’re all here. That’s the proof to the pudding, eh?

  • http://technologymadefriendly.blogspot.com/ david gandrud

    This is interesting as I am in the middle of launching our business into the social media arena and justifying (to myself) why it is worth the time and effort. The list posted is very traditional and should be part of most every campaign. My rational includes:
    -Thought Leadership
    -Industry Alighnment
    -Networking
    -Lead Generation (yes sell more goods and services)

  • http://technologymadefriendly.blogspot.com/ david gandrud

    This is interesting as I am in the middle of launching our business into the social media arena and justifying (to myself) why it is worth the time and effort. The list posted is very traditional and should be part of most every campaign. My rational includes:
    -Thought Leadership
    -Industry Alighnment
    -Networking
    -Lead Generation (yes sell more goods and services)

  • http://franklinbishop.net/ Ultimate Blogging Experiment

    Gaining trust is huge. Without trust you really do not have anything.

  • http://franklinbishop.net/ Ultimate Blogging Experiment

    Gaining trust is huge. Without trust you really do not have anything.

  • http://ariwriter.com Ari Herzog

    You didn’t ask me to change the structure of the list, Chris, so I will. I haven’t seen Douglas’ link yet, but if I kept the same steps, I’d re-arrange them as follows for social media:

    ORIGINAL
    1. Generate awareness.
    2. Drive Trial.
    3. Product Launch.
    4. Establish Need/Want
    5. Product/Service Comparison.
    6. Positive Association.
    7. Form/Change Opinion.
    8. Influence the Influencers.
    9. Drive Action/Traffic.
    10. Establish/Regain Trust.

    NEW
    1. Establish Need/Want
    2. Drive Trial
    3. Form/Change Opinion
    4. Product Launch
    5. Product/Service Comparison
    6. Positive Association
    7. Generate awareness.
    8. Drive Action/Traffic
    9. Establish/Regain Trust
    10. Influence the Influencers (which may not be necessary)

  • http://www.ariwriter.com Ari Herzog

    You didn’t ask me to change the structure of the list, Chris, so I will. I haven’t seen Douglas’ link yet, but if I kept the same steps, I’d re-arrange them as follows for social media:

    ORIGINAL
    1. Generate awareness.
    2. Drive Trial.
    3. Product Launch.
    4. Establish Need/Want
    5. Product/Service Comparison.
    6. Positive Association.
    7. Form/Change Opinion.
    8. Influence the Influencers.
    9. Drive Action/Traffic.
    10. Establish/Regain Trust.

    NEW
    1. Establish Need/Want
    2. Drive Trial
    3. Form/Change Opinion
    4. Product Launch
    5. Product/Service Comparison
    6. Positive Association
    7. Generate awareness.
    8. Drive Action/Traffic
    9. Establish/Regain Trust
    10. Influence the Influencers (which may not be necessary)

  • http://davefleet.com davefleet

    I chatted with Doug about this list when he first posted this back in May. It’s a good, well thought-out list (although it does seem impersonal, especially when you boil it down to 10 quick bullets from his original post). What I like about Doug’s approach (if you read the original post) is that he acknowledges that we’re not going to find “one metric to rule them all.” Social media isn’t a single tool or approach and different measurements will be necessary to measure different ways of using it.

    The area where I would differ from Doug’s take is that I would put more emphasis on the relationship and trust-building side of things — seeing it as more of a two-way effort and less top-down. I think that’s a common difference between marketers and communications folks.

  • http://davefleet.com Dave Fleet

    I chatted with Doug about this list when he first posted this back in May. It’s a good, well thought-out list (although it does seem impersonal, especially when you boil it down to 10 quick bullets from his original post). What I like about Doug’s approach (if you read the original post) is that he acknowledges that we’re not going to find “one metric to rule them all.” Social media isn’t a single tool or approach and different measurements will be necessary to measure different ways of using it.

    The area where I would differ from Doug’s take is that I would put more emphasis on the relationship and trust-building side of things — seeing it as more of a two-way effort and less top-down. I think that’s a common difference between marketers and communications folks.

  • http://chrisbrogan.com chrisbrogan

    @Dave – and yes, I think it’s out of context a bit in my questioning, but that was somewhat intentional. I’m not slamming Doug in any sense. I think the list is interesting. Instead, I’m thinking about it in the deeply abstract sense. What is two way media about?

  • http://chrisbrogan.com chrisbrogan

    @Dave – and yes, I think it’s out of context a bit in my questioning, but that was somewhat intentional. I’m not slamming Doug in any sense. I think the list is interesting. Instead, I’m thinking about it in the deeply abstract sense. What is two way media about?

  • http://blog.stealthmode.com francine hardaway

    List sucks. Sounds like lists from twenty years ago and totally ignores, as you point out, the role of audience/customers in product development. To me, the best use of social media is to find out what your market really needs, so you can evolve your product or service to satisfy that need. Then all the rest “just” happens.

  • http://blog.stealthmode.com francine hardaway

    List sucks. Sounds like lists from twenty years ago and totally ignores, as you point out, the role of audience/customers in product development. To me, the best use of social media is to find out what your market really needs, so you can evolve your product or service to satisfy that need. Then all the rest “just” happens.

  • rapella

    @dave fleet – ‘two way media’ is only possible in direct communication, e.g. sender and receiver, speaker and hearer.

    Social media is (mostly) the constraint-free link between one (individual, enterprise) and thousands (or millions) of recipients.

    How you measure their response is a different matter altogether.

  • rapella

    @dave fleet – ‘two way media’ is only possible in direct communication, e.g. sender and receiver, speaker and hearer.

    Social media is (mostly) the constraint-free link between one (individual, enterprise) and thousands (or millions) of recipients.

    How you measure their response is a different matter altogether.

  • http://davefleet.com davefleet

    @rapella – I respectfully disagree, although I don’t think our perspectives are too far apart. If you look at what Dell is doing (to use the obvious example), the company (which has a global reach) is connecting with individuals – through blog comments, through Twitter and so on.

    I do agree that there are plenty of effective one-to-many approaches (and Dell’s blogs are an example) but I think to write-off the more personalized applications is a mistake.

  • http://davefleet.com Dave Fleet

    @rapella – I respectfully disagree, although I don’t think our perspectives are too far apart. If you look at what Dell is doing (to use the obvious example), the company (which has a global reach) is connecting with individuals – through blog comments, through Twitter and so on.

    I do agree that there are plenty of effective one-to-many approaches (and Dell’s blogs are an example) but I think to write-off the more personalized applications is a mistake.

  • http://www1.celebros.com/Default.asp?sType=0&PageId=5762&MH=4 Casey

    At what point does the company re-evaluate their product/ service based on consumer/fan reactions and feedback? As far as I can see you didn’t mention that…

  • http://www1.celebros.com/Default.asp?sType=0&PageId=5762&MH=4 Casey

    At what point does the company re-evaluate their product/ service based on consumer/fan reactions and feedback? As far as I can see you didn’t mention that…

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  • http://chrisbrogan.com chrisbrogan

    @Casey – I’m not sure. Might be a great question for Lionel Menchaca from Dell. He’s on Twitter ( @lionelatDELL). I bet he’d have a great answer.

  • http://chrisbrogan.com chrisbrogan

    @Casey – I’m not sure. Might be a great question for Lionel Menchaca from Dell. He’s on Twitter ( @lionelatDELL). I bet he’d have a great answer.

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  • http://apowerpoint.blogspot.com/ Anthony

    Rather than defining the communication objectives of social media, I turned the tables and asked myself how can social media be used to achieve marketing’s objectives? So starting with an old article on Forbes.com entitled “Who needs a CMO Anyway?” comes this list: (slightly shortened)

    “… CMO responsibilities should include:

    – Ensuring the company’s products and services are in tune with consumer demand. … a CMO should be the representative of the customer within the C-suite.

    – Directing new product development and ensuring the continuing appeal of existing offerings. …This means no more resources wasted on products that customers don’t have a reason to choose over the competition.

    – Marketing communications. To those who equate marketing with advertising, this is often seen as the primary CMO function. Marketing communications certainly are part of the CMO agenda, but they shouldn’t define it. This is due to the simple reason that a great product will trump a bad ad, but a great ad won’t save a bad product.

    – Hold CMOs accountable for achieving top-line growth objectives. Revenue and share offer the best measurement of how well a company fulfills the needs of its customers.

    – Hold CMOs accountable for meeting corporate margin goals. This will ensure that product formulation, pricing, trade and consumer promotion are balanced business decisions. ”

    In short, marketing is about the alignment of needs and solutions to everyone’s mutual benefit. Social media can/is/should be used in all of the ways listed above to achieve that.

  • http://apowerpoint.blogspot.com/ Anthony

    Rather than defining the communication objectives of social media, I turned the tables and asked myself how can social media be used to achieve marketing’s objectives? So starting with an old article on Forbes.com entitled “Who needs a CMO Anyway?” comes this list: (slightly shortened)

    “… CMO responsibilities should include:

    – Ensuring the company’s products and services are in tune with consumer demand. … a CMO should be the representative of the customer within the C-suite.

    – Directing new product development and ensuring the continuing appeal of existing offerings. …This means no more resources wasted on products that customers don’t have a reason to choose over the competition.

    – Marketing communications. To those who equate marketing with advertising, this is often seen as the primary CMO function. Marketing communications certainly are part of the CMO agenda, but they shouldn’t define it. This is due to the simple reason that a great product will trump a bad ad, but a great ad won’t save a bad product.

    – Hold CMOs accountable for achieving top-line growth objectives. Revenue and share offer the best measurement of how well a company fulfills the needs of its customers.

    – Hold CMOs accountable for meeting corporate margin goals. This will ensure that product formulation, pricing, trade and consumer promotion are balanced business decisions. ”

    In short, marketing is about the alignment of needs and solutions to everyone’s mutual benefit. Social media can/is/should be used in all of the ways listed above to achieve that.

  • king

    I think this is a perfect example of how social media blurs the marketing/PR line. A marketer is interested in pushing a message. A PR person is tasked with building relationships. The “good will” you're seeking is a key component – brands engaging and understanding their consumers. This is why PR plays an important role in social media adoption for brands.
    Flag

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  • http://www.savetubevideo.com youtube downloader

    I think it’s an interesting and worthwhile list. And like I said, go to Douglas’s site and comment on the measurement aspects, for those of you who are into measuring.

  • 10com

    Great to read this quality post with quality comments, even two years later. Our focus at the moment is on the way consumers use social media. In doing this, we step aside from the mainstream-message that socmed is IT. We observe, young consumers use social media as a “push” medium (too) – they send out messages and are promoting themselves. They get friends with brands, because brands follow back. The US is much more is an Adland than the EU, so we’re happy to hear feedback at this point.

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  • mayco

    it’s great