In the spirit of the holiday season, and in the spirit of reflection on the past year, I thought I'd compile my social media wish list for 2011. These things will not only make my job easier, I think they'll improve the overall impact of social media.
Analytics! Analytics! Analytics! It's still more painful that it ought to be at this point to both gather analytics from social media and community sites, and to integrate them into existing BI systems. I would love the ability to more easily not only gather analytics in an intelligible format from the sites we use for business - Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Flickr, EMC Community Network - but also the ability to more easily track how these sites are driving traffic, leads or even increasing SEO. Right now, Facebook is way ahead of the pack with their analytics, in my opinion, but it's still very difficult to tie any of our activity on Facebook back to our internal systems for more analysis.
Anyone have any good suggestions on how to do this? What are you doing now for analytics? Is it still manual, or have you been able to automate to some extent?
A Social Media Budget! While we've taken major strides in becoming a part of corporate communications at EMC, we still have to beg, borrow, and steal to do any sort of compelling social activity - a cool video, an infographic, data visualizations, playbooks, etc. You name it, and I want it because we have a business need. Unfortunately, lots of folks still have the notion that "this social stuff is free" -- you and I both know it's not, so I'm looking forward to the day when social gets a line item in the budget for specialized marketing programs, and I'm looking forward to the day when I have a budget to do things better, faster, smarter, and in a way that makes them exponentially bigger and more compelling for those "everyday activities," as well.
A one-size-fits-all monitoring tool! It still troubles me that we have to have many different monitoring stations set up to catch all the stuff going on in the social space, all the mentions of our brand, all those conversations we're interested in keeping up with and participating in. There are tools that are good for snapshots over a period of time - we use them. There are tools that are good for real time monitoring - we use them. There are tools that are good for seeing trends over time - we use them. There are tools for analytics and numbers - we use them. There are tools for tracking sentiment - we use them. Why can't I find a tool that does all of this for me? Sigh. I'll keep wishing on this one. And I'm almost inclined to move it to number 1!!
A way to keep track of all my social activity, or the activity of those I want to follow - all in one place. For those of us that have way too many social accounts, it's hard to keep track of folks, and who's where, and what they're doing, and what they're not doing, and...I could go on and on. Point here is that there's no easy way for me to just check in to see what's going on in the social world and see if I want to jump in. I have to login to my different accounts, check on my friends and network, nearly independently in each of them - even after all this time. Why, oh why, hasn't there been more done to integrate the primary tools together to give people the option of a social snapshot?
Friend Synchronicity. Following closely on the idea above - I want a button that finds all my friends, on any social network that I belong to, and enables me to connect with them on all of them at once, if I so choose. It's so hard when folks are are multiple networks and don't even use the same user name on them all - to find the people I want to stay connected with, where I want to stay connected. Where's my magic button to find them and connect to them in all of those places?
More folks dedicated to social media strategy in their org or geo - full-time. Over three years into the "official" social journey and I still see folks only doing social media strategy part-time in their roles, and only because they've expressed an interest in doing so and have risen to the occasion. If we're ever going to be in a position to truly execute a synchronized social media strategy, I need a virtual army of full-time folks living within the business units and geos to help take things to the next level. We need to get folks out of the mindset that social media strategy is a "nice to have" and elevate it to the integrated and critical status deserving of serious marketing and communications efforts. And we need a team of folks who are able to focus on doing so!
Social Spamming Policing. I wish there were more attention paid to all the spammers on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, pick your tool. Where do those notices go when I flag someone's content as spam? It seems they float around in cyberspace, and never actually prevent the person from doing the same thing a bazillion more times. This request is probably a never-ending battle, but seriously - there's gotta be something that can be done to stop the bikini babes on Twitter from harrassing me with "get a million followers in a day" ads or the faceless stalkers on Facebook from posting the latest "get rich quick" schemes onto my Facebook pages.
Less emphasis on consultants and more emphasis on practitioners. Anyone who knows me knows this is a hot button. I am routinely shocked and disappointed that so much emphasis is placed on people who consult in social media and community, but have never actually managed a community, served as a community manager, driven adoption within an organization, or made a post to a company account in their lives. I wish, very much, that we start seeing more balance in this world in that we elevate the practitioners - the folks that have actually done all of the above and then some - to the same level that we seem to worship the folks that talk the talk, but don't walk the walk. It's nothing personal - really. I just sincerely hope that we get to a place where we value practitioners as much, if not more, than folks who've never done the stuff.
More collaboration. Every week we have new accounts cropping up - Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Flickr, you name it. While I love the passion and enthusiasm of the folks that decide to take that leap and get engaged in social media, I am a firm believer that less is more in the social space. Too many accounts are confusing and frustrating to our stakeholders. Fewer accounts makes it easier to stay engaged with us, know when it really is us, and keep up with the latest and greatest. My hope is that in 2011, we see more teams collaborating on accounts together than wishing to own a little slice of the digital universe and continuing to spin up new accounts.
How about you? What would be on your social media wishlist?