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Will technology move us off the mark?

March 5, 2011

In a world with a lot of digital noise, more companies are looking for a way to filter, communicate, monitor and scale with the growth of social media sites. The ability to speak when spoken to, interact, and escalate when necessary gets tougher with growth. Of course we all want to grow our communities into healthy places where our fans, customers and even critics can interact. With the goal of growth comes the issue of scale.

The question of scale is often answered by technology. In a world of Klout scores (http://klout.com/) and social media monitoring systems everyone seems to have it under control, right? Maybe, but I’m of the opinion that we’re at a huge cross road in the social space right now. I hear more and more people saying, “We use social ranking scores when we triage our interaction.” This works well if your target audience and customer base are comprised of social influencer’s, bloggers, or techy people. However, this wonderful technology can throw you off the mark if you’re core business revolves around anything other than people with larger social influence in the space.

klout

At The Home Depot our avid DIY enthusiast and brand evangelist may have a Klout score of 10, never blogged a day in their life and have 25 followers on Twitter. If we used the social ranking triage system we know we’ll miss these people in large numbers. Of course, that’s not an option. This same issue is true for so many other businesses. The same thing can be said for the business traveler who stays in hotels 75% of the year, the outdoor enthusiast who doesn’t own a smart phone and rides mountain bikes that cost more than most peoples cars or the chef who has more invested in a kitchen than most people have in their entire homes.

Technology can make life easier when it comes to scale and engagement, but if you loose site of your core demographic and let the hype of social influence move you off the mark then what’s the point? With all the hype, noise and new doomaflotchies it’s easy to get caught up in the glits and glam, but we have to remind ourselves that our customers are just as important to the business despite their social reach.

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