Pivot to the New Social Media Marketing Fundamentals: Playing for Tablestakes or Aiming for Distinction?

Sure, everybody’s on the social media marketing bandwagon now. There are thousands of primers in place to teach practitioners how to socialize their business.  Q: So what’s left to learn? A: It’s keeping up with the always-growing never-ending creep upwards of what’s tablestakes to be in the game vs. what’s required to run a truly distinguished program. The bar keeps getting lifted higher, growing at accelerated rates of speed.

Where is your organization headed – the low bar. The Old Fundamental Five, within reach  – or the high bar, the New Fundamental Five, just beyond your grasp today?

The Old Fundamental Five (playing for tablestakes, things you must do)


  1. Listening: Use a listening tool to capture mentions of your company and competitors (e.g. NetBase, Radian6)
  2. Community Managers: Manage well-structured social channels on all major properties with community managers who are skilled engagers (see Community Roundtable.com, the community manager role and more)
  3. Owned web properties: Link your network of social channels to a destination web property where the interactive experience is controlled by you, not Facebook, Twitter or Linked In’s latest UI upgrade (example: SAP Community Network)
  4. Attribution modeling: Track traffic to your websites, campaigns, events back to the precise social interaction that drove it there. Use social media management systems like Sprinklr.
  5. Lead management tool Employ a B2B marketing automation tool to extend lead automation to your social customer interactions (e.g. Leadformix)

The New Fundamental Five (aiming for distinction, the things you should do)

  1. Influencer marketing: Go beyond passive listening to engaging with individuals who matter for your brand and programs (e.g. Traackr)
  2. 2.    Gamification:   Incent customers to engage with you online in the programs you deem most important via rewards and incentives (e.g. Bunchball)
  3. Content marketing management: Go beyond excel spreadsheet management of your static content supply chain to true composition and storytelling for your audience (learn all about from the Content Management Institute, the most respected source of innovations in Content marketing)
  4. Social Intelligence for sales teams: Use the intelligence from social chatter to inform your sales team of opportunities. It’s a well-known fact that selling using social media can close more leads (>55% of B2B buyer’s search for information on social media, usually before they contact a vendor).
  5. Big Data & Analytics: Get the who, what, where of your digital interactions. Man, oh man, we sell big data but fail to use these principles to manage our own marketing programs. Go beyond vanity metrics to real insights from the behavior of the individuals interacting with you (e.g. SAP Lumira).


Yes, it’s a grand leap from tablestakes to distinction, but the chasm we are closing is as big as the Grand Canyon. Only the brave survive.

I am inspired by this manifesto from Brian Solis. He gives voice to the massiveness of the task at hand to move from rote execution of “Social 101” to true innovation to blow business wide open.






Brian Solis, What’s the Future of Business, “How to Become the Hero in the Hero’s Journey”.



Where are you and your co-workers on this journey? I’d love to hear from you.


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