The 3 Biggest Social Media Mistakes and Misconceptions According To Ifbyphone CEO Irv Shapiro

April 25, 2012

1:00 pm

“In every generation in every decade in every turn of the world people are looking for magic. In the contemporary sense, magic is you do something to get a million hits on your website, 10,000 incoming phone calls, or 100,000 emails.  I hate to break it to new entrepreneurs: There is no magic.”

This is the battle cry of Irv Shapiro, CEO and CTO of the Chicago-based voice based marketing automation firm, Ifbyphone.  In Shapiro’s opinion, too many marketers are failing.  Although the debate lives on in regards to how effectively one can track ROI through social media, Shapiro feels strongly that any action without tracking is an utter waste of time.  With seven years’ experience as Ifbyphone’s CEO, Shapiro has had front row seats to the rapid evolution of e-commerce; his opinion is worth the listen.

During our conversation, Shapiro was adamant about the failings of online marketers, especially those running social media campaigns.  Below are the three biggest mistakes and misconceptions Shapiro sees being made today.

Irv Shapiro

Ifbyphone CEO, Irv Shapiro

1) Social is not magic

As alluded to in the intro, Shapiro feels as if marketers pursue social with too lofty of expectations.  “Too often people fixate on the idea that their idea will go viral on Twitter.  For every idea that goes viral there are a billion that people will never see.  Knowing that social isn’t a magic bullet can go a long way to forming a cohesive strategy.”

 2) No measurement

It’s not magic, but trial and error that is going to get a brand’s online marketing efforts to its intended destination.  “If you don’t manage, measure, and automate the process all you’re doing is error, there’s no trial.  If you’re not going to measure it you might as well not do it.”

Here’s the million dollar question: how do you measure social?

“You measure social the same way you measure everything else in advertising.  You use a mechanism to track actual responses, not ‘likes’, not tweets, not followers, but the real desired outcome, like purchases or sign ups.  Don’t track generic activity, it’s meaningless.”

 3) Only measuring online activity

With tools like Google Analytics, you can track pretty much anything that happens online (assuming it runs java).  If you deal exclusively in e-commerce, this is a complete solution.  For most businesses, especially those involving a large price tag or difficult purchase decision (e.g. insurance, home sales, law services), your customers may very well find you online, but they’re not going to purchase until talking to someone on the phone.  “That’s where many businesses stop tracking activity.  In these cases, as soon as someone picks up the phone, their company’s tracking goes into a black hole.  You’re losing measurement in the area where it’s most important.”

This is the bridge that Ifbyphone’s tracking system has built.  By integrating with Salesforce and Google Analytics, Shapiro says that his service “closes the loop between the old offline world and where sales take place.”

Needing to track your company’s calls?  Request a demo of Ifbyphone here

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When Zach Davis isn’t getting lost in the mountains, he is hustling from Boulder, CO as Tech Cocktail’s Director of Marketing. He is the author of Appalachian Trials, a book chronicling the mindset necessary for thru-hiking all 2,181 miles of the Appalachian Trail, a feat he accomplished in 2011. Zach is a green tea enthusiast, die-hard Chicago sports fan, and avid concert-goer. Follow Zach on Twitter: @zrdavis.

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