No immediate results in Social Media !

One of the most frequent objection people have relative to social media is the lack of immediate results.

Why ?

People have been used to the “Google world” , where you’re always three keywords and a search away from the information that you need. And although everyone agree that they rarely go beyond the third page and that most of
the information returned is sometimes irrelevant and most of the time not qualified of the time not qualified (a discussion on the bailout from a prominent economist could sit next to a message from a celebrity or a novice on the same bailout topic), they still enjoy the immediate rewards of search/results that this paradigm provides.

Then came the social web: millions of blogs, Facebook, Twitter… and it’s here for a reason. As people experience the web1.0 in and out, they aspire to raise above bits, bytes and words and use the web for things with more meaning, for things that matter more, that, hence the focus on relationship and knowledge. But :

  • one don’t build a relationship with Google search (how many friends
    or professional connections have you built in the last 5 years searching
    the web ? me: none or maybe one)
  • one don’t build up knowledge with Google search (it’s possible to find sites where you can learn, but the result list itself or the article that’s bookmarked is of very limited value) . Also, beside the huge effort put in semantic web,  the best way to add value to a piece of information is still the opinion of people that you know and trust.

This is not to say that Google is useless. Google is wonderful and so far the best solution to find a relevant document for a question you’ve already formulated. Extremely powerful for short term insights and info. (an address, a map,
a news).

So what’s the point ?

Relationship, trust and knowledge are not granted after the first click. Let’s give it a try and attempt to find a friend with three keywords and one click: friend, relation and trust.

Google search - friend

Humm, doesn’t seem like we are going anywhere….

Taking a parallel with a topic most of us are familiar with, people rarely get immediate benefits in dating (even in online dating – did someone say too bad ?). You build your relation over time and grow it as you share more and understand better, and one may argue that seeking immediate benefits is a recipe for failure.

Bottom line

  • Brand should consider measuring social media programs like assets
    and not like expenses. What’s the ROI of learning faster, what’s the value
    of being known and trusted in  a community, of being better and faster at understanding customer needs ?
  • They should also be suspect of the “one click” sales guys. You can’t build trust and grow your relationship in a click, period. It really takes a few hours a week.

3 thoughts on “No immediate results in Social Media !

  1. Concur absolutely with the slow burn of social media relationship building but you can’t degrade the role of Google in this process.People intrinsically trust Google to find the most relevant content for their search,hence a regular and high ranking appearance is surely perceived as trustworthy. The content needs to be credible but Google remains the principle route into it.

  2. It’s very important to understand that social media relationships are built over time. They aren’t too different than our off-line relationships in terms of the need for building trust. Relationships with that trust are also the strongest and longest lasting. At Referral Key, we encourage people to network with their closest most trusted associates because we know those relationships produce the best referrals.

    Ben S.
    Blog Manager
    Referral Key
    Your Trusted Referral Network

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