More and more, I find myself defending the power of the telephone to persuade people. Have you ever had every committed attendee to a Facebook event invite actually show up for the physical event? I haven't.
Oftentimes, we marketers forget that while we are using Facebook and other social media channels to drive action, Facebook engagement and other social media channels might not be persuasive enough to actually drive action. Consider a recent political campaign I was involved in.
Friends of mine were supporting a group of candidates that hoped to become delegates to a national political convention. To earn a spot, they needed to be elected at a caucus, which is like a town-meeting style gathering of voters. Given the candidates and their supporters (namely, us) had nice social media audiences on Twitter and Facebook, and correspondingly elevated klout scores, this seemed like a natural case for using social media to drive a crowd.
But there was one big problem. The "ask" we were making was pretty significant. We were asking our friends to get out of bed on a nice Saturday morning, drive in their cars for up to thirty minutes to sit in a warm room for an extended period of time. All to cast a vote to send someone to a convention far, far away-- and a long time in the future.
While the likes and positive comments rushed in on Facebook, it took phone calls and personal contact to get people to attend. And in a significant percentage of cases, even those who confirmed on the phone didn't show up.
I have created an index that matches a required level of marketing interaction to specific actions or outcomes from a target audience. I call it the "get off the couch" index. It maps an escalating level of action (from liking on Facebook to physically attending an event) to an escalating level of engagement (from a Facebook ask to in-person persuasion with a reward). My index will be tinkered along the way, but for now, the relationship I have plotted is quite linear.
As B2B marketers, B2B content marketers, and tech PR professionals, we need to constantly be thinking about whether our ask, and the channel we are using to make the ask, is appropriate given the response we'd like to see. It should be a strongly considered variable when evaluating the success of an overall effort. Why didn't we get people to come to the event we hosted at a tradeshow? Maybe it was because for that particular outcome, Facebook engagement wasn't really the best vehicle for rallying a crowd.
I know when I host a party, I call people to remind them of the time and place and what to bring. I just don't want to be embarrassed. We need to apply that same logic to our professional lives as well.
The opinions expressed via “Wait A Minute” are of the authors and not necessarily of Schwartz MSL or MSLGROUP.Tags: Wait A Minute
Posted by Wait A Minute on June 13, 2012 at 2:50 PM