“Its just Me, Myself and I”...We really need a better way to engage over social

Lithium Alumni (Retired)

De_La_Soul_Me_Myself_And_I_Cover.jpgI consider myself a smart, adaptable person (clearly modest, too!). When I started driving digital and social projects, I thought everything was possible and that it would all be easy.

I still believe that everything is possible. But now I know that all is not easy. An avalanche of data, multiple channels, 24x7 feedback, people, process, technology…is it just me? Or, do others also feel that digital marketing today offers so many options, it’s getting harder and harder to make the right decisions?

It’s actually a relief to find that, no, it’s not just me. In fact, I’m hearing about it more and more.  I recently attended a Digital Collective event in Dallas (—organized by a group of marketing experts that run the gamut of Digital and Social marketing roles. This regional event included members from some major Fortune 500 companies, start-ups and VC’s and spread across airlines, retailers, manufacturers and tech. It was a very eclectic group.

I hosted a roundtable on how user-generated -content (UGC) could be used at the center of your marketing strategy.  After all, if you have good UGC, then other people are helping you do your job by developing new content!  We had a lively group and came away with a number of insights and recommendations. Here’s what I discovered at a high-level:


  • Most companies self–define their companies as being ‘social’. By a show of hands I estimated:1 company (out of approximately 12-15) had a community platform
      • 75% of the room declared they were marketing over traditional social channels (FB, Twitter, YT etc.)
      • 50% of companies were engaged in social listening or monitoring
      •  less than 20% were using the listening, insights, or social feedback to drive ongoing engagement
      • All socially engaged companies said they were conversing with ‘fans’ over traditional social channels
      • 100% of the room wanted to drive more UGC, but most expressed a challenge with driving repeatable and useable UGC in their marketing activities
      • 100% of people expressed an issue with having enough resources to engage fully with all their social channels.
  • We discussed how to develop UGC and leverage it to the max—and also the challenges that brings:
      • Contests – A contest needs to give something to the contestant, not just benefit the brand.  It needs to be integrated across multiple channels to drive awareness and get interest, but make sure the follow up and ongoing engagement is done on your platform-on your community—if you really want to drive engagement.
      • Events (Digital and Face-to-face) – Events are great, but everyone wanted to know more about how to connect on- and offline experiences. Most recognized that the real UGC, the most relevant content, isn’t started by the brand.  Everyone in the room wanted to hear new ideas to connect their online activities, with their live face to face events.
      • Regarding superfans:  All brands know they have them and know they need to engage them, but everyone is struggling to engage them over traditional marketing channels.  All expressed concern with identifying and engaging after they have ‘fans’ interested.  They have fans, but now they need to know “what’s next?”

Here are my takeaways:

  • There are a lot of smart digital marketers out there, with some great ideas, but they are overwhelmed with the possibilities and need more help.
  • You can’t start with the usual social media suspects, but marketers need to better understand that sustainable engagement is not done over FB, Twitter and YouTube.
  • Marketers looking for a way to engage superfans, bring people together on a regular basis and drive the production of valuable UGC need to think “on-domain”:  branded online community.
  • Marketers are in need of a strong tool for engagement over social.  Listening is only half the story and the digital marketer can’t be the only one telling it. Brands need to enable multiple teams to engage over social across the entire business.





My first Digital Collective experience was very positive. I’m very happy to have met some kindred spirits out there so it’s not just ‘me, myself and I’, after all—it’s  ‘all for one, and one for all’. 


I am looking forward to working with our customers to solve these issues! If you need more guidance on attacking your social media challenges, check out the Science of Social 2.


(BTW did you like the way I introduced cats into the blog? Now it will totally go viral…. right? )






Dayle Hall is the VP of Brand & Digital Marketing for Lithium. He is responsible for the visual representation of the brand, including all digital properties such as, Lithium community and social media channels.   Dayle is a marketing executive with 17+ years experience across all marketing disciplines.  Prior to joining Lithium, he led Corporate Marketing and Corporate Communications at Aruba Networks where he developed the industry leading community of Wi-Fi technical advocates, Airheads Social.  He has also held multiple marketing roles at Cisco and Oracle. Follow him on twitter @marinadazza