Signals, Noise, and Metaphors- Social Media and Value

The oft-cited marketing truism—that social media is growing by leaps and bounds—has become at best tiresome not because of its mere recitation but, instead, because so few companies do enough about it.  Trumpeting a fact is fine but acting on such a fact is another thing altogether.

Such, however, is the nature of the beast.  Trends emerge organically, not by some sort of planned process.  Companies, therefore, are in the mode of reaction as they learn to understand consumer rhythms after-the-fact and when they do, learn how to act on the information they have in order to better improve the consumer experience and thereby improve loyalty, increase revenue, and burnish their brands.

The emergence of social media as a necessary and towering part of the marketing mix is just such an example- it did not grow because someone decided to make money on it.  It grew because billions of people—for whatever reason- found comfort, solace, and meaning in expressing themselves via these channels.

That said, some things have changed.  What was once organic has become more managed and social media is now an institutionalized form of communications and advertising.  Still, many companies – while spending money purveying their messages on social media—do very little by way of identifying and nourishing real customers via the same very channels.

That is why I got interested in Socedo, a company dedicated to a very simple proposition- helping companies and individuals divine real leads from social media and cull mere “expressions” of opinion which, while fine, do not indicate a bias towards any particular action.

You pick your metaphor- wheat versus chaff, signal versus noise, meat versus bone.  Whichever you pick, the point is the same- social media is here to stay; your ability to render it useful is what really matters.

Romi Mahajan is a globally renowned marketer, IT and strategy thinker, and author. 

His career is a storied one, including spending 9 years at Microsoft, being the first CMO of Ascentium, a leading digital agency, and founding the KKM Group, a boutique advisory firm focused on strategy and marketing.  Romi has also authored two books on marketing- the latest one can be found here.  

A prolific writer and speaker, Mahajan lives in Bellevue, WA, with his wife and two kids.

Mahajan graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, at the age of 19 with a Bachelor’s degree in South Asian Studies. He also received a Master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

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