What’s Next For Social?

I am a tinkerer. I don’t see my self as an innovator, or an inventor.

I’m the guy who can take something, fiddle with it for a while, and make it work in a different way. That’s the way I use social media. It’s adaptive, modular, and flexible enough to be able to work with in ways that are never the same for multiple people or businesses.

I’m concerned though. The social web and social businesses are booming, there’s no doubt about that. I’m worried though about one simple question. What’s next?

What’s the next step?

As social becomes more prominent and more businesses – both small and large – begin adopting and leveraging the tools available to them, there’s a lot to be left as a giant question mark. The question mark becomes, what is the value that you’re offering?

I have no doubt in my mind that there is extreme value in relationships. To that I have no question, debate, or dispute. After we have built and maintained these relationships though, I wonder what the value of social media is.

It’s not like I don’t work in this industry. I see it every day. I see brands bringing top-notch customer service, solid engagement, and they give back knowledge to their fans on Facebook and followers on Twitter.

But after we’ve made our relationships matter and nurtured our leads, turned them into conversions, measured our bad-ass through the roof ROI, what then? Where is the value? What are we giving to our customers that they aren’t getting somewhere else?

So many 2012 trends, but it’s all for the biz!

I have a huge amount of respect for David Armano. His 2012 predictions are probably some of the more realistic and more credible. My concern is that 5 of 6 of his predictions are “business oriented”. By that I mean the ultimate value is to the business.

If we want social media to succeed in the future, we need to find out where the value is to customers. Ultimately, if the customer finds no value they will move away from your attempt at using social media in their favor.

As we move forward in this next year, we -as marketers- must focus on the value to the customer. Think about it this way: What is the ROI that the customer gets? Don’t think about it as: What’s the ROI to our business as the customer continues down our conversion funnel?

Leave a comment below and tell me what you think is going to happen this coming year. Not predictions, per se, but tell me how you plan on giving value.

Image Credit – Homini

Tags: , , , , ,

Performance Optimization WordPress Plugins by W3 EDGE