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Using Social Media Marketing to Fail Better

Sometimes it’s hard to make the case for a big investment in social media marketing. It can be difficult to scale, time-consuming, and there’s always the risk of - gasp! - negative feedback.

Socialnomics makes an excellent argument for making social media marketing not just important, but central to the mission and products your company creates. Erik Qualman’s second edition of this book came out a couple weeks ago. Rather than focusing on the nuts and bolts of implementation, it's a wonderful conceptual framework for the importance of social media. It also takes a stab at what's just around the corner, which is very exciting.

My favorite quote so far: "Fail fast, fail forward, fail better." Quick iterative innovation is the watchword, and an engaged conversation with customers is necessary to make that happen. The new climate for product development involves intense competition, margins squeezed by the wide availability of similar products, and a need for speed. He argues that it’s better to move quickly than study something to death and have others beat you to market. But once you move quickly out the door, and some parts of your product fail, you need to respond just as fast.

This requires an ongoing, engaged conversation with your customers. You only fail forward, you only fail better, when you listen to your customers. Qualman argues that social media is the best way, perhaps the only way, to listen to your customers quickly and deeply enough to drive rapid development cycles. It’s not about releasing a half-baked product. It’s about speeding up the product’s improvement cycle, which is something we can all benefit from.

Release, listen, improve, release. Rinse and repeat. At Exsilio, our Social Media Marketing team focuses on embedding inside your organization’s message, and can help you sort through the noise to listen better.

It’s hard for many organizations to be so nimble in their product/service development, though. What challenges are you experiencing?

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