Blog Post:Two weeks ago an interesting opinion piece in the NY Times by Maureen Dowd suggested that “social media has become the cocktail party from hell… with the flood of information jeopardizing meaning”. It caught my attention when I first read it, but since I’ve heard it cited a few times since, I thought I’d add my 2 cents. Let’s look at how social media has changed everyone’s lives: Needless to say that is a lot of noise. If you’ve ever read Nate Silver’s fantastic book “The Signal and the Noise” (if you haven’t you should), then you may also agree that whilst the amount of noise being created on a daily basis is increasing exponentially, the amount of useful information is probably not. Therein lies the root of the problem. The growth of all this data is also the reason why journalists suck, as Dowd suggests, and that social media may have become “the cocktail party from hell”. It’s a great analogy because for a long time social marketers have been saying that social media is like a cocktail party and you need to work the room. In my opinion, the sentiment still rings as true as it ever has. Wouldn’t you rather talk to someone interesting, polite and takes the time to listen to you – rather than someone who is loud, obnoxious and tries to sell themselves? Brands are no different. They do need talk to their customers on their social media channels as if they are at a cocktail party. The issue here isn’t that social media is losing all meaning; it’s simply that it is more difficult than ever to filter out what you actually want to hear from all the noise. Marketers have had this problem for years. I remember being in brand communications in the late 90s when journalists were saying advertising was becoming meaningless because we were exposed to over 10,000 advertising messages every day. The goalposts may have moved but the issues and the problems remain the same. Luckily there is a solution. Adobe Social tracks over 10 million blogs, forums and social networks for many of the largest brands in the world (NFL, Disney, Levi’s) in order to help them make sense of all this noise. Brands that I regularly speak to may have millions of mentions of their brand each day, but only need to respond to a few thousand of the most relevant conversations. Hundreds of people may be talking about your brand, but only 50 may actually be driving sales or traffic to your website. It is important for brands – especially the ones with small teams and even smaller budgets – to be able to make sense of all this data in a meaningful way. They can then deliver data to the business in a way that is going to help them achieve their objectives. Sales pitch over! But the ray of hope I offer to you is Duane Munn. You may never have heard of him, but he is the superstar social media manager of the NFL, and he uses Adobe Social. What is most impressive about Munn is that whilst he manages a huge global presence for the NFL and its 32 teams, he does it all on his own (without hundreds of community managers, social media execs or assistants). One man! He doesn’t wear his underpants outside his trousers or have any special super powers, but he does use some very smart software to help him make sense of everything happening in social media. When you can make sense of what everyone is saying amongst all that noise, it makes the cocktail party a pretty nice place to be.   Want more? Read --> Why Adobe Social 3.0 Rocks by Lawrence Mak Author: Date Created:15 May 2013 Date Published: Headline:Is Social Media Becoming the Cocktail Party from Hell? Social Counts: Keywords: Publisher:Adobe Image:http://blogs.adobe.com/digitaleurope/files/2013/05/67.png

Two weeks ago an inter­est­ing opin­ion piece in the NY Times by Mau­reen Dowd sug­gested that “social media has become the cock­tail party from hell… with the flood of infor­ma­tion jeop­ar­diz­ing mean­ing”. It caught my atten­tion when I first read it, but since I’ve heard it cited a few times since, I thought I’d add my 2 cents.

Let’s look at how social media has changed everyone’s lives:

  • 1.1bn peo­ple are now on Face­book, with an aver­age of 140 friends
  • 665m Face­book users are active every day
  • 189m Face­book users only use it on mobile (with some reports say­ing that users now check their mobile on aver­age 150 times per day)
  • 400m Tweets are sent every day
  • 90% of the world’s data has been pro­duced in the last 2 years
  • The amount of data cre­ated every 48 hours is to the scale of all data col­lated from the begin­ning of time until 2003

Need­less to say that is a lot of noise. If you’ve ever read Nate Silver’s fan­tas­tic book “The Sig­nal and the Noise” (if you haven’t you should), then you may also agree that whilst the amount of noise being cre­ated on a daily basis is increas­ing expo­nen­tially, the amount of use­ful infor­ma­tion is prob­a­bly not.

Therein lies the root of the prob­lem. The growth of all this data is also the rea­son why jour­nal­ists suck, as Dowd sug­gests, and that social media may have become “the cock­tail party from hell”.

It’s a great anal­ogy because for a long time social mar­keters have been say­ing that social media is like a cock­tail party and you need to work the room. In my opin­ion, the sen­ti­ment still rings as true as it ever has. Wouldn’t you rather talk to some­one inter­est­ing, polite and takes the time to lis­ten to you – rather than some­one who is loud, obnox­ious and tries to sell them­selves? Brands are no dif­fer­ent. They do need talk to their cus­tomers on their social media chan­nels as if they are at a cock­tail party.

The issue here isn’t that social media is los­ing all mean­ing; it’s sim­ply that it is more dif­fi­cult than ever to fil­ter out what you actu­ally want to hear from all the noise. Mar­keters have had this prob­lem for years. I remem­ber being in brand com­mu­ni­ca­tions in the late 90s when jour­nal­ists were say­ing adver­tis­ing was becom­ing mean­ing­less because we were exposed to over 10,000 adver­tis­ing mes­sages every day. The goal­posts may have moved but the issues and the prob­lems remain the same. Luck­ily there is a solution.

Adobe Social tracks over 10 mil­lion blogs, forums and social net­works for many of the largest brands in the world (NFL, Dis­ney, Levi’s) in order to help them make sense of all this noise. Brands that I reg­u­larly speak to may have mil­lions of men­tions of their brand each day, but only need to respond to a few thou­sand of the most rel­e­vant con­ver­sa­tions. Hun­dreds of peo­ple may be talk­ing about your brand, but only 50 may actu­ally be dri­ving sales or traf­fic to your web­site. It is impor­tant for brands – espe­cially the ones with small teams and even smaller bud­gets – to be able to make sense of all this data in a mean­ing­ful way. They can then deliver data to the busi­ness in a way that is going to help them achieve their objectives.

Sales pitch over! But the ray of hope I offer to you is Duane Munn. You may never have heard of him, but he is the super­star social media man­ager of the NFL, and he uses Adobe Social. What is most impres­sive about Munn is that whilst he man­ages a huge global pres­ence for the NFL and its 32 teams, he does it all on his own (with­out hun­dreds of com­mu­nity man­agers, social media execs or assis­tants). One man! He doesn’t wear his under­pants out­side his trousers or have any spe­cial super pow­ers, but he does use some very smart soft­ware to help him make sense of every­thing hap­pen­ing in social media. When you can make sense of what every­one is say­ing amongst all that noise, it makes the cock­tail party a pretty nice place to be.

 

Want more? Read –> Why Adobe Social 3.0 Rocks by Lawrence Mak