I don’t have much use for case studies. Or rather, I collect them, but mostly to show other people. It’s not that they’re not useful. Instead, I just find that lots of people use case studies as excuses or defense to show the boss instead of as learning tools to better align their strategy. You might use yours just right. I use mine as springboards to build and plan.
In conversations with larger organizations lately, the tone is very similar: social media is another tool we all agree is swell, now how are we going to use it to improve business in some measurable and obvious way? That’s it, friends. That’s the sound of several larger companies saying, “We’re in, now what?”
They want actual strategies with definition and detail. They want a better understanding of how the tools go together and which ones will make the best impact for their business goals. They want a whole lot more than “you’ve gotta get on Twitter,” and they want it to demonstrate impact, but have a path for sustainability. They want it not to be an island, but to be tied logically back to the right parts of the business.
That’s just for starters.
The shine is off. We are in the “prove it” phase of social media. Though it’s still early days in oh so many ways, it’s also far past the time to tell folks that a blog will save their business.
You don’t have to be in the social media business. There are plenty of great businesses out there that work just fine. I met a guy on the phone today who proved to me that he can put anything on the front page of Digg organically. Top notch. He proved it to me, instead of telling me about how cool he was.
I’ve been meeting with really cool interactive agencies like Zemoga and experience marketers like GamePlan, and I’ve been studying models like Federated Media. I am looking at how we will make the next moves, and what we’ll be able to do for these companies, should this be a goal.
Here’s one hint: social media isn’t a PR tool; it’s not a marketing tool ; it’s a communications tool and a media making/distribution tool set. And further, it’s not the only way to the finish line out there. It’s about working on the larger need and then using the tools judiciously.
I am captain of a very small pirate ship. We aim to work in the service of companies who can no longer wait for their fleet to hold their tea ceremonies, shine the brass, and paint the trim. 2009 is a down and dirty year for budgets, and a down and dirty year for building market value. I aim to help people execute.
Now that I’ve rattled my saber for a bit, I’ll give you something to gnaw on in an upcoming series of posts. Look for five posts all labeled “Pirate Moves” in the coming days.
Photo credit paulmannix