The Two Sides Of Social Media Marketing

by · November 6, 201211 comments

There’s an easy way to know if someone really understands social media marketing. Listen to them talk for a while and see if they ever mention the underside of it. Most everyone can walk through blogging, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and the various tactical executions of social media. “This is how you can use these channels to connect with your audience in more compelling ways,” is typically the conclusion of their talk.

If they go no further, they’ve only gone half way.

The other side of social media marketing involves data and how you access, understand and use it. If you’ve ever heard someone trying to sell social CRM software or beginning the sentence with, “Tapping into the Facebook API, you can …” then you’ve probably heard the spiel, though you may not have understood it.

Tapping the social graph for your company (through the various APIs of the social platforms you use) and understanding more about your customers and connections on the social web is what we’ll call “advanced social media marketing.” And it’s not just about leveraging targeting information for Facebook ads, either. With the right developer and CRM system, you can identify common interests in your social connections, segment and filter by those interests and serve up more relevant content to groups and subgroups based on the interest and demographic information they provide to the social network in question.

This is why marketing alone will probably never be awesome at driving social for organizations. You’ll always need a fair amount of development and engineering capability at hand in order to harvest, filter and analyze the data at hand.

Think about that as you build your social media marketing team. Are you hiring community managers, content providers, analysts and strategists? Cool. So is everyone else. But are you also hiring social technologists and engineers who can help you understand not just what messages you can send to these audiences, but how you can send them?

The companies that are doing so are winning faster.

Did you enjoy this blog post? If so, then why not:Leave Comment Below | Subscribe To This Blog | Sign Up For Our Newsletter |

About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

Other posts by

Comments & Reactions

Comments Policy

Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • Hmaclean

    As always you have an interesting and thought-provoking post.  I love the fact that you are drawing people deeper into the mix than what is typically thought of.  Now, let’s hope people hear the message.  Thanks!

    • JasonFalls

      Thanks for the kind words. Every now and then, I’m useful. Heh.

  • Kkwaite

    I think you’ve really hit the nail on the head. The analysis of the relationships seem to be an untapped wealth of knowledge

    • JasonFalls

      Thanks! Hopefully the food for thought will help folks.

  • fionas_h

    great post Jason and agree – it’s small signposts like knowing the value of Social data that is the mark of someone who truly understands Social Business.

    • JasonFalls

      Thank you!

  • Barbara Mckinney

    Hi Jason. Data will be useless if not use and analyze and utilize this interpretation to make the campaign even better. 

    • JasonFalls


  • Pingback: The Game Of Risk & Social Media Marketing! |()

  • wiedenu

    I think you’ve made some great points. Along the spectrum of companies “doing” social media, those using data are definitely in the top. Would love to see an article (or two, or three) on those companies making it work and how they’re making data work for them.

  • Ashley Parker

    It’s great that as
    marketers we can monitor consumers’ activity through Facebook and even Twitter.
    These social media platforms have greatly enhanced the marketing world and have
    made people change how they go after consumers. You can’t just post an ad for a
    company online anymore, you need to have a full profile page where consumers
    can get information and ask questions of the products for sale.

    I find it interesting that
    you mention companies should hire technology people as well as the social
    marketers. And I agree with you, if you want to understand everything behind
    your social media marketing you need someone with a background that can give
    you the numbers. This would help your social marketers to better understand if
    their marketing is reaching the potential consumer and if there is a larger
    group out there they could be reaching.