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Social performance software reason for concern?

Posted on May 9th, 2012 by

Web strategist Jeremiah Owyang recently wrote about social performance software, a new category of software that aims to bring automated performance marketing to social channels.

So what exactly does that mean? Well, Owyang defines it as, "Software tools and methods that analyze, plan, deliver, and measure media such as ads, content, and conversations published in social channels" (via Altimeter).

He goes on to say that this could potentially have drastic affects on the lost-in-the-dark social marketing strategies of agencies in the midst of shifting from tried-and-true TV, radio and SEO techniques. In short, instead of becoming experts themselves, an agency could simply plug in a bunch of stats and numbers into some social performance software, and in minutes have a comprehensive social strategy for its clients, complete with analytics that determine when and where a client's customers are online.

Some of the software, according to Owyang, even has the potential to directly engage with people through the various social channels.

Now this is very interesting, and technology is rapidly becoming more and more humanlike and integrated into our everyday lives (did you catch that, Siri?), but there's still one major fault we see in all of this: authenticity.

At SMC, we believe people are smart and will be able to tell when a social bot is engaging — or at least attempting to engage — with them. Although we look forward to all hilarious memes and 'bashtags' that will be the result, it will make the already packed room that is social media even more crowded. When that happens, people will leave.

In a post on Mashable, Owyang has the same concern: "As marketers become more targeted and eventually predict what content an audience will want, authenticity could leave the room, making social yet another over-branded, corporate medium."

Yep. Leave us out of that conversation.

By Will Silvey Simons • @silveywill

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