Client I have been working with off and on for the past year is a good old fashioned company with a very traditional product. The marketing team has decided to get into the social media business guns blazing. They have hired a small army of social media experts to help them out - the median age of this population is about twenty two. That of the customers they hope to serve is closer to fifty.
How this recipe is set up for success is not to clear to anyone but no one can question the zeal of the social media team. They are on everything from Facebook to Foursquare to Pintrest to everything in between. Decorative lederboards with success mile-markers are everywhere around the social media work space. Yet, the sales team will tell you social media is doing absolutely nothing for them - there are no numbers to prove that statement wrong either.
This Wired article is a great example of where social media and an old school business can have effective partnership. The premise of Face of Retirement is a very simple but effective one :
In a 2011 study cited by Merrill Edge (Merrill Lynch’s online discount brokerage), Stanford behavioral economics researchers say
that we’re often reluctant to save for retirement because deep down we
don’t identify with that older person we’ll one day be: “To people
estranged from their future selves, saving is like a choice between
spending money today or giving it to a stranger years from now.”
My client will not likely create the killer app for their business anytime soon. Instead they will expend effort in needless forays into social media outlets that are not where their target audience gathers. Yet, telling them to try something else is like telling a child they cannot play with the shiny new toy that they just brought from the store.