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You’re Not Good at Social Until it Embarrasses You

Susan Etlinger
 Last week I had the pleasure of being interviewed at Salesforce Connections by Jay Baer and Adam Brown in a session entitled, “Social is Breaking Out of the Silo”. This is a topic I’m passionate about, because I firmly believe that social and digital absolutely must be aligned to support not only businesses but, so much more importantly, actual customers (e.g., you and me). This means thinking more like human beings and less like marketers, and using data in a way that engenders not only insight but trust.
L-R: Adam Brown, Susan Etlinger and Jay Baer at Salesforce Connections

L-R: Adam Brown, Susan Etlinger and Jay Baer at Salesforce Connections

One of the most fun parts of the experience was that Adam and Jay, who have been working together for quite some time, used this opportunity to record the interview for their “Social Pros” podcast.
Any of you who do content marketing know that the first rule is to choose a topic or title that makes people want to click through, so of course they named it after something I said, somewhat cavalierly, “You’re Not Good at Social Until it Embarrasses You.” (Naturally, this embarrassed me, so I guess I must be good at social now. I’ll just leave that here.)
But I did have a serious point; one of the questions I’m asked most frequently is this: “What makes an organization good at data strategy?” In the many conversations I’ve had with brands, in the research I’ve done and articles I’ve read, one characteristic comes through clearly.
Often it is the companies that have experienced crisis that have the organizational rigor to holistically look at social and digital data from the customer's point of view.
Why? Because in those moments (hours, days, months) of crisis, disparate groups, with disparate points of view, are brought together for a common goal: fix the problem, save our reputation. Do it fast.
Now of course this doesn’t mean that all brands that have had public crises have learned from them; that isn’t realistic. But there is something about being brought together in the heat of an emergency that can either strengthen or blow up relationships. When that lasts, it builds grit, and trust and willingness to share.
Thank you to Adam and Jay for the opportunity to participate in “Social Pros”, and to be embarrassed for the sake of learning. It was an honor and a pleasure. And please listen to the podcast and read Jay’s blog post here