What Successful Social Media Looks Like: Steve Goldner

Steve Goldner (also known as Social Steve) is Senior Director of Social Media for marketing agency MediaWhiz, responsible for advising and helping clients with their social media practice.

On May 28th, 2012 Steve Goldner posted a very helpful blogpost to his personal blog that breaks down social media from a marketing exec's perspective. Every New World filmmaker should pay attention to how Steve Goldner thinks about social media.

In his post, Mr. Goldner explains that "social media is the combination of social + media" - in other words, a social media platform is where users go "seeking or enjoying the companionship of others by the means of digital communication."

It is not where consumers go to buy or be sold things.

This distinction may seem obvious - but it brings Steve Goldner to a very timely observation about Facebook: In particular, Steve Goldner makes a key point about the difference between Facebook's ability to generate revenue from ads - and whether Facebook has value for marketers:

"Facebook’s revenue (at least so far) has been a measure of their ad revenue. Let’s be clear… Facebook ad revenue is simply a “digital display” offering. Display, although an important element of a holistic digital marketing plan, is not social media."

In other words, the revenue that Facebook generates from display ads doesn't really reflect the full impact of how social media works for people with products to sell. As Steve Goldner explains:

"Social media is not a strong channel to promote a sale. (Yes, there are some examples where companies have done this successfully, but 95% of the time, social media should not be for direct conversion.) Think of forming a social media strategy to increases Awareness, Consideration, Loyalty, and Advocacy. Social media provokes these behaviors and these behavior changes drive transactions."

In other words, the power of Facebook and other social media channels are not primarily as a platform for Old World display ads. But social media does have an important role to play in the marketing of films and filmmakers:

"[S]ocial media activities can help to generate loyalty. Loyalty can result in repeat purchases... Loyal customers can become advocates as well. You should think about post-sale follow up content and engagement to move your customers to a loyalty and advocacy state. And once you produce advocates you have a most powerful outcome. Advocates inspire awareness, consideration and loyalty. They work as the most trusted source of marketing your brand."

"[S]uccessful social media... is an ongoing effort that changes behavior and drives transactions. It is a continuous program that produces measurable results in awareness, consideration, loyalty, and advocacy. All of these elements contribute to the ultimate goal of conversion. But they not only contribute to conversion, they work to continue the relationship with the customers and strengthen brand reputation, loyalty, commitment and on going word of mouth marketing."

Conclusion? Don't make the mistake of thinking of social media as just a platform for your ads. Similarly, messages that you generate about your film - how great it is or why it's worth seeing - may not be the optimal use of social media. From a marketer's perspective, the sales generated in response to Facebook display ads or sponsored posts might be a misleading metric.

New World marketers use social media to enhance Awareness, Consideration, Loyalty, and Advocacy. Steve Goldner's company has gone so far as to develop an algorithm for measuring these variables - called the Social Media BrandAction™ Index. If you're marketing your film via social media, you need to think about (and measure) Awareness, Consideration, Loyalty, and Advocacy. That's where the real value lies when using Facebook or any another social media platform.

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