Social 2011 took place April 7-8 in Boston and was organized by the company formerly known as Radian6, but it was more than just a software user conference. It was confirmation that what I was doing at my first full-time social media job was actually a job.
I met Social Media managers from Dominoes and Omaha Steaks and even Consumers Energy and AutoDesk (the 3D design/engineering software company). I heard from influencers and thought leaders like Mitch Joel, from “Six Pixels of Separation” fame, customer service guru Mitch J. Lieberman, and B. Bonin Bough, then from Gatorade and now with Kraft. I even got to meet the Old Spice Guy.
More important than meeting all these great folks were meeting the Radian6 employees. Folks like Radian6 CEO Marcel Lebrun and CMO David Alston, as well as the dozens of other amazing dedicated staffers. It was also the first time I met or tweeted with the uniquely talented community team. In the two years since that conference, I’ve become friends with a lot of the community team and others at Radian6 – Jenn and Zoë, Trish and Jason, Mel, Amanda, Julie, Mike, Bart, Heather, David, Genevieve, Krystal, Shannon, Sherry, Mike and Nick, Daniella, Jeff, Marty, Faith and Michele, and countless others.
I’ve become such a fan that I’ve had to add “@Radian6 User and Superfan” to my Twitter bio, and recently shortened to “@MarketingCloud Fan,” not only because I actually was a big fan, but because I talk about the product so often, that people have approached me as I was a Radian6 employee. Others have even tried to quote me in press. I’ll help out fellow users or prospects whenever I can, but I had to post a disclaimer that I wasn’t an official representative of the company.
In the three positions I’ve held since that day, I’ve continued to be a Radian6 user and an active fan and am amazed at some of the upcoming new features with the Marketing Cloud. The new features are bittersweet though – they come from the Salesforce acquisition of Radian6 and at the cost of many friends in layoffs late last year, but more importantly, have shown some key operational changes seemingly brought after the Salesforce takeover. Where Radian6 highly valued influencers and engagement, Marketing Cloud no longer does.
Marketing Cloud’s own “How To Generate Leads With Social Media” e-book (published just a week ago) recommends, “Build a Network of Strong Ties,” and a Google Searchof the term “Engagement” on Radian6.com yields over 6,000 results. One of the top tags in the Radian6 blog is Engagement, not to mention that an entire product of the Radian6 offering is called the Engagement Console. With all this, the deemphasizing of engagement at Marketing Cloud seems to indicate the mantra is now “do as I say, not as I do.”
I don’t have any concrete numbers, but the majority of my twitter connections, retweets, mentions and favorites used to come from Radian6ers. We engaged regularly about Radian6 blog posts, e-books, webinars, and it has even led to my involvement as a guest blogger. I have even helped provide product enhancement ideas for the Engagement Console.
Now, it’s gotten to the point that I rarely see any Radian6 community team members in my stream at all anymore. I understand that fewer staff means fewer engagement, but there seems to now be no engagement at all. I’m not complaining that Marketing Cloud isn’t mentioning me, but rather that they’re no longer walking the walk, and the tight-knit community that I once was a part of now seems like a divorced family – unable or unwilling to talk with one another.
My beef is not with the current community team. Jason, Amanda, Trish, David and Heather are all doing amazing jobs, being pulled in lots more directions before and with fewer resources. My beef is with the corporate folks, now in San Francisco, or New York that don’t give the resources or offer the support to keep up the engagement that there once was, and maybe the engagement that there really needs to be. If you don’t lead by example, how can you advocate social media marketing, engagement, listening and measurement to everyone else?
Don’t get me wrong, I still connect with my closest Radian6 and ex-Radian6 friends on Facebook, but purely on a personal level. Engagement about Radian6 is strictly limited to a few times a year when I submit a guest post, but almost all other regular engagement has all ceased.
Because I no longer feel like part of a vibrant, informative and tight-knit community, and because that means I am no longer mistaken for a member of the Marketing Cloud staff, I have decided to free up some of that twitter bio real estate and devote more of it to my professional life.
Have you seem a drop off or significant shift in Social Media strategy for one of your favorite brands? Share your thoughts below.
The postings in this blog are my own and do not necessarily represent the opinions or positions of my employer.