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Sure, everybody’s on the social media marketing bandwagon now. There are thousands of primers in place to teach practitioners how to socialize their business.

So what’s left to learn?

Where Innovation Begins
“ChangeThis”/Brian Solis

Social media practitioners must learn to keep up with an always-growing never-ending creep upwards. They must balance the tablestakes needed to stay in the game vs. what’s required to run a truly distinguished program. And the bar keeps rising higher — at faster rates of speed.

So where is your organization headed? The low bar (the Old Fundamental Five), which is within reach, or the high bar (the New Fundamental Five), which is just beyond your grasp today?

Things you must do, the Old Fundamental Five, are:

  • Listening: Use a listening tool to capture mentions of your company and competitors (e.g., NetBase and Radian6).
  • Community Managers: Employ community managers, skilled engagers who can develop and maintain well-structured social channels on all major properties (e.g., Community Roundtable.com).
  • Owned Web properties: Link your network of social channels to a destination Web property where you control the interactive experience is controlled by you, not Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn’s latest UI upgrade (e.g., SAP Community Network).
  • Attribution modeling: Track traffic to your Web sites, campaigns and events back to the precise social interaction that drove it there (e.g., Sprinklr).
  • Lead management tool: Employ a B2B marketing tool that extends lead automation to your social customer interactions (e.g., Leadformix).

And things you really should do, the New Fundamental Five — which will help you distinguish your program — are:

  • Influencer marketing: Go beyond passive listening to engaging with individuals who matter for your brand and programs (e.g., Traackr).
  • Gamification: Incentivize customers to engage with you online in the programs you deem most important via rewards and incentives (e.g., Bunchball).
  • Content marketing management: Surpass Excel’s static content supply chain management: Engaging in true composition and storytelling for your audience (learn all about it from the Content Management Institute, the most respected source of innovations in content marketing).
  • Social intelligence for sales teams: Use the intelligence from social chatter to inform your sales team of opportunities. It’s well-known that using social media can close more leads (more than 55 percent of B2B buyer’s search for information on social media, usually before they contact a vendor).
  • Big Data & Analytics: Get the Who, What and Where of your digital interactions. Man, oh man, we sell big data but fail to use these principles to manage our own marketing programs. Go beyond vanity metrics to real insights from the behavior of the individuals interacting with you (e.g. SAP Lumira).

I am inspired by Brian Solis’ “Keep Calm and Innovate.” He gives voice to the massiveness of the task at hand to move from rote execution of “social 101” to true innovation to blow business wide open.

I woke up this morning… gasped… overwhelmed by anxiety and confusion, I questioned who/where I am and what I’m supposed to do next.

I took a breath… closed my eyes… and accepted that my future is the pursuit of bridging the distance between who I am and who I want to be.

The question is, who are you and who do you want to be? As Leland Stanford, the founder of Stanford University, once wisely wrote, “Man cannot create what he cannot imagine.”

How we see the world and how others see the world may, in fact, be different and quite possibly contrasting. This is natural. The difference between success or collapse is humility and empathy. You must first believe you have something to discover and also demonstrate the desire to see things through the eyes of another.

It’s a grand leap from tablestakes to distinction, but the chasm we are closing is as big as the Grand Canyon — and only the will brave survive.

Where are you and your co-workers on this journey?

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