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The B2B Social Audit.

You posted your first tweet a while ago, but the phone’s still not ringing?

There must have been some kind of mistake. The product that you used to push relentlessly with email and direct mail is now being pushed relentlessly using social channels and for some reason no one’s buying it. WTF?

It’s a common refrain. Businesses have assessed the opportunity for social marketing as a quick way of replacing their traditional marketing strategy with a cheap and easy alternative. They set up a Twitter account under their own name and/or the company brand and then… And then nothing. [Insert wind and tumbleweed here.]

What has become clear in the last couple of years of B2B marketing is that social activity isn’t quick, it isn’t cheap and it isn’t easy. Oh, it isn’t an alternative to the traditional marketing plan either.

So that went well then. You’ve wasted the last few years of your marketing life and you’re no further forward in becoming the ‘Guru’ or ‘Digital Native’ that appears to be so popular on the CVs of ageing, pot-bellied, ‘marketing consultants’. They all sound terribly self-important on their LinkedIn profiles, but they’re still only flying EasyJet.

Where did it all go wrong in your quest for social liberation?

Well, in the rush to contentificate marketing strategies, everyone thought that they could just ‘do’ social media. For some inexplicable reason, social appeared to be immune to the other laws of the marketing mix. Laws like research and planning and analysis and measurement – you know, the laws that you apply to everything else in marketing. But not your social strategy. No. Social is different. Social is ‘free’. You can just, engagerate it. Or something. How tough can it be, right…?

But you don’t send random emails without a validated database. You don’t buy media without audience profiling. You don’t issue a press release without checking the content. And yet you just switch on social channels and hope it all works out? Really? What did you think was going to happen?

Let’s just call the last few years your ‘experimental’ period and put it down to experience. All the great creative thinkers had ‘a bit of a moment’ at one time or another. Picasso, Dali, Da Vinci. You’ve had a bit of a moment. Let’s leave it at that. No one’s saying, “twat,” that’s the main thing. The point is, you’ve wasted enough time and money and made little or no progress at a personal or corporate level. Sir isn’t exactly warming the seat for you in the executive washroom so it’s time to up your game.

So what’s next? Keep on blindly keeping on? Forget the whole sorry social affair and start murdering trees for mailers again? Or, here’s an idea, ask for help and do it properly this time.

Your first step to a successful Social Strategy is a Social Audit. Yes, we used the words social and successful together in the same sentence. It’s unusual, but not unheard of. We’ve had enough ‘moments’ of our own to know what works and what doesn’t. And that’s the point of a Social Audit – to find out what’s working and what needs a radical rethink. It’s time to audit your social presence and ensure you’re going in the right direction, put a strategy in place and start seeing results from your social efforts.

A social audit doesn’t take long, it doesn’t cost much, it doesn’t interfere with any prevailing monstrosity you’re currently trying to implement on a LinkedIn Group that has no members (yeah, we know about those too…) but oh my lord it can deliver the gems you need to keep the entire marketing team fully stocked with pencils and paints for a whole year. #justsaying

Scot McKee