What is Social Media?

Social media is a much discussed topic yet it seems to mean different things to different people.

To some it means using the tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc. to push out information about themselves in the quest for popularity and short term gratification.

To FRANk it’s about creating longer-term value for business through listening, collaborating and sharing customer needs (B2C & B2B) as the thinking behind the tools. The tools will come and go and are not an end in themselves.

“Social media is like teen sex. Everybody wants to do it. Nobody knows how. When finally done there is surprise it’s not better.”

That’s a famous tweet about the state of social media from Google’s Avinash Kaushik back in 2009, and yet his words are still very much to the point. Brands struggle to use social media to its full potential, often complaining about lack of engagement and ROI.

Any ‘social media expert’ who espouses that your brand needs a Facebook or Google+ account without addressing your objectives, resources and willingness to embrace a social business approach should be a major concern.

Before using any tools whatsoever there needs to be internal planning for internal crisis or scale which involves a process for expansion. We generally see that with many companies, there are no consistent measurement frameworks, and no consideration about a community manager or a moderation policy. In short there is no tight internal plan for embarking on a social media strategy.


So what are brands to do with social media? Is there a way for social media to fit into the marketing mix? Absolutely!

But it requires more than a Facebook page to make it work.

One of the fundamental aspects of social media is collaboration, sharing, listening and knowledge transfer.

It requires a brand to BE SOCIAL… and that does not come naturally for many brands. In most cases it requires the entire company to change its culture, thinking, processes and marketing plan.

It requires a ‘social business approach’- see below:

Social Media Social Business ROI


For social media to work, brands need to be social internally and externally.

Most brands jump on the external part and set up a Facebook page for example. After a while the realisation comes that Facebook only works with engaging and relevant content. The question of who is responsible pops up? Who has time and the skills to do it? At this point, many CEOs shut down ‘this social media thing’ because it lacks ROI and just seems too hard. But it is not the tool that failed.

There are many brands that use social media successfully to drive sales, reduce customer complaints, research trends and improve their products/services. What all these brands have in common is the connection between their social platforms and business objectives, internal social policies, resources, employee engagement and training as well as knowledge transfer.


Get in touch with us if you feel like social media (the FRANk way) is for you and we are happy to chat further! (03) 8517 2000


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