Written by: Alyce Lindquist
The SFAMA February event featured our annual visit from Charlene Li best-selling author and popular speaker, and noted thought-leader in social media. Li was named by Fast Company as one of the most creative people in business and one of the most influential women in technology, we were honored to have her present her trends in social media.
This is the third year in a row that Li has presented her forward-looking material on social media. As founder of analyst firm Altimeter Group specializing in helping businesses make sense of the onslaught of new tools and services, Charlene Li is an expert in spotting trends and distilling their meaning to executives and marketing leaders.
If last year social media was like air—everywhere, but impossible to nail down, then this year it has to become like fabric—truly integrated into how the business is run. The term social media has been transformed into social business to drive home the point. It’s not integrated yet, but must be in order to see real benefits and business results.
Shifting to this new way of thinking requires transforming the marketing organization. Teams need more training to understand and take full advantage of what Li calls converged media. It’s no longer effective to think about individual channels of communication, but an integrated strategy that includes responding to customers in real-time, creating original content (or curating a stream of relevant content), and using native ads (sponsored content within an article or page), all combine to create converged media.
In fact, everyone in the business becomes a marketer by necessity. At every customer touchpoint, data can be collected. And it’s this data that can be used to get to know your customers and understand current and future behaviors. Using examples from her own daily life as a consumer of technology (find her on Waze!), Li understood how important customer data is to the marketer, and ultimately to the entire business.
The bottom line? Your social media strategy is your business strategy. Everyone in your company needs to have a clear understanding of how content and most importantly, customer relationships—impact the business.