Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Social Media Marketing: Josh Bernoff On How Companies Talk To Customers And Why They Fail - Video

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Social media marketing is making strong inroads in the corporate world, but understanding how to do it properly without making painful mistakes, remains, for most companies out there, one of the greatest marketing challenges to overcome. What is it that corporate institutions must do or avoid to overcome the typical hurdles, fears and mistakes that are met when they first try to adopt a social media marketing strategy?

Photo credit: Robin Good

Here, in this short video interview with Josh Bernoff, I target the very key questions that most marketing executives have been asking me the most via emails and comments:

1) How can the social media "voice" of a company be made "real"?

2) How to use social media for business?

3) Social media marketing: which are the biggest mistakes to avoid?

If you have not yet heard about him, Josh Bernoff is the co-author, with Charlene Li of the best-selling book on why companies often fail to use social media marketing strategies: "Groundswell"


Who Am I - Josh Bernoff

Duration: 1' 10''

Full English Text Transcription

Josh Bernoff: I'm analyst at Forrester Research, which is a company that researches the effect of technology on business.

I specialized in social technologies, any technology where people connect with one another online from Facebook to blogs, to Twitter, to YouTube...

I became intensively interested in there as I was researching and writing the books "Groundswell" - in Italy it's called "L'onda anomala" - and that's basically a manual for corporations and people inside of companies to understand these phenomena and know what to do about them.

I'm currently involved in research for other books on similar topics, but I continue to go all around the world to talk to people about how to understand these social technologies, how to succeed with them, the right way to connect with people and the way basically they work.

Robin Good: OK, say: "Ciao to Roma from Josh Bernoff!"

Josh Bernoff: Ciao Roma is good to see you!


How Company Voice Can Be Real - Josh Bernoff

Duration: 1' 19''

Full English Text Transcription

Josh Bernoff: I actually just wrote a piece about this. It's called "Social Technology Strategies for Boring Brands". This is the problem, that most of brands are boring.

People don't want to get together and talk about pasta. They don't want to get together and talk about business services.

If you're a boring brand and you feel that the purpose of your presence is just to talk about yourself and your products, then that doesn't work so well.

Instead we recommend that people talk about their customers' problems.

If you make office supplies, then your customers may be office managers... or office managers all have many of the same problems, and they're not all around office supplies, maybe they're around dealing with your boss, or wrestling with technology or whatever.

The office supply company can create a community or an opportunity to connect up around those problems that people have, and then it's something people would be interested in.

And now they won't be talking about the brand, but they will be talking about other things related to the brand and the brand then can participate in that conversation and benefit from it.


How To Use Social Media For Business - Josh Bernoff

Duration: 0' 55''

Full English Text Transcription

Josh Bernoff: It depends on the company. There are some companies that people would really like to be friends with.

Just as an example, Ducati has a very active and excited group of fans, and so if Ducati comes on and asks: "Would you like to be friends with us here? We will keep you up-to-date on new motorcycles and activities that company is doing", they will get a lot people interested in doing that.

If you are a brand that doesn't have that kind of fan group, then you have to work a little harder to find something that people are interested in and connect up with that. And these people create online games...

We also have to remember that social networks like Facebook is just a beginning of this social activity and there are many other ways people can connect with companies.


Social Media Biggest Mistake - Josh Bernoff

Duration: 1' 37''

Full English Text Transcription

Josh Bernoff: The biggest mistake is simply not to listen and respond.

If you're only talking and you're not listening is not social, is someone's response to your blog post or to your Twitter.

You need to come back to them and say: "We heard you, and we're participating in this conversation". That's the biggest mistake.

Another mistake that companies make is to sit, and plan, and plan, and plan for everything that will happen.

I've seen companies take two years to get ready to launch these things, and the reason that's a mistake is because you don't really understand what's going to happen until you do it, and then what happens is usually something you never imagined.

It's much better to start small, try something, see what happens, and then be ready to respond to that as opposed to having some big budget and planning process and getting all ready to launch it.

The other thing that people don't realize is that unlike an advertising campaign, these relationships once started go on forever.

If you're going to start a blog, or a Facebook page, or a Twitter account, or whatever it happens to be, you need to know that at the end of six months, when your advertising campaign might be over, there will be hundreds or thousands of people still engaged with that.

And to just say: "Goodbye! We're not interested in you anymore" is a big mistake. You need to think: "What will we be doing with them once the campaign is over?" "How can we take advantage of that group later if we want to start something else?"

Originally recorded by Robin Good for MasterNewMedia, and first published on June 24th, 2009 as "Social Media Marketing: Josh Bernoff On How Companies Talk To Customers And Why They Fail - Video".

About Josh Bernoff


Josh Bernoff is senior vice president inside idea development at Forrester Research and his past experiences include 14 years in technology startups like Course Technology, MathSoft, and Software Arts. He is also the co-author of "Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies", a comprehensive analysis of corporate strategy for dealing with social technologies. Josh Bernoff writes a column for Marketing News, a publication of the American Marketing Association, and blogs for Forrester and Advertising Age.

Robin Good -
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posted by Daniele Bazzano on Wednesday, June 24 2009, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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