A lot has been written about how social media is misunderstood, particularly in regards to determining ROI for this very important media marketing device. Notice I didn’t say, “channel”. The mistake that is being made is that individuals and companies are thinking of social media as a channel. Social media is a system not a simple marketing channel such as direct mail or print media. Systems thinking is defined as is the process of understanding how things, regarded as systems, influence one another within a whole. In nature, systems thinking examples include ecosystems in which various elements such as air, water, movement, plants, and animals work together to survive or perish. In organizations, systems consist of people, structures, and processes that work together to make an organization “healthy” or “unhealthy”.
To be successful, your social media entity needs to be understood as a ‘system’ interacting with all of your sales and marketing to achieve your goals of acquiring a new customer, getting your message out or whatever may be your ultimate end. Tweets contain links to websites, Facebook contain videos (I could go on)– all which get shared and commented on and viewed by potential influencers or customers. This is the ‘nature’ of the system or ecosystem acting on itself to produce strength in the marketplace. Understanding this is critical and if you put a slide up there with social media as a channel, you are ultimately going to fail.
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