Friday, March 9, 2012

Social Media Marketing Changes Like the Weather

By Georgeanne Irvine

Social media marketing: it changes like the weather or perhaps more frequently. I recently attended a fascinating and informative Social Media Symposium hosted by Nuffer, Smith, Tucker, a San Diego public relations firm. I thought I would share a few of the nuggets I gleaned from the speakers and panelists—some of the material was new and other tidbits reconfirmed information that I already knew but probably needed to hear again.

From keynote speaker Jason Falls, author of “No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing”

· If anyone tells you they’re a social media marketing expert, run—or order a pizza from them.

· There are no social media rules. Example: For those who say “you can’t sell anything using social media,” Jason called “Bullshit” and explained how during a winter snowstorm, a mechanic notified friends and clients through Facebook about his storm special—installing car starters. The guy got a lot of business because of the need and the timing.

· Strategic planning is crucial to any marketing plan. You also need to include mechanisms to measure the results.

· There are 7 basic business drivers. You must decide which are important to your goal before developing a strategic social media plan: 1. Enhance branding and awareness. 2. Protect your reputation. 3. Enhance public relations. 4. Build community. 5. Enhance customer service. 6. Facilitate research and development. 7. Drive sales.

· ROI measures only in dollars. A better question to ask in social media marketing: What do I get in return? (Only 2 of the 7 business drivers reflect ROI.)

· Being social is a part of business. We buy from people we know, like, and trust.

· Social media doesn’t raise money; people raise money but they can raise money using social media in certain circumstances.

· Give people a reason to follow you on Facebook and Twitter. Include “really useful content.”

From the panelists

· Social media is a marathon, not a sprint. The posts should stay on the message but each one doesn’t have to reach the goal right away.

· Hook people. Give them a reason to come back.

· Social media plays a role in the larger ecosystem of marketing and communications. It’s not a replacement.

· You need to respond to the positive social media comments in addition to the negative ones. The responses must be authentic, especially for your best customers. You must divorce yourself from emotion when responding to negative comments.

· The difference between good and great is consistency and execution.

· Content matters: everyone in an organization needs to be excited about the product so they can generate great content.

· In Website design, Flash is out and HTML5 is in. (I’m not a Web designer so I’m only repeating what was discussed at the symposium.)

· Make social media a part of an overall crisis communications plan.

· Social media is a main communications tool for media/the press.

From lunch speaker Gary Kim, editor of Mobile Marketing & Technology, Content Marketing News and Carrier Evolution

· We don’t know where mobile marketing will be in the next 15 years. Don’t panic, though, or waste resources on mobile marketing yet—we have plenty of time to figure it out.

· The future in mobile marketing will change dramatically, so watch where it’s going and keep it on your radar for now.

My biggest takeaway:

· A reminder that every project, campaign, or marketing endeavor doesn’t need every single social media tool applied to it. Remember to strategize, review the seven business drivers, know your audience, and plan accordingly.

San Diego native Georgeanne Irvine has devoted more than three decades of her career to raising awareness about animals and wildlife conservation. By day, she is associate director of development communications for the San Diego Zoo, where she has worked for 34 years. George is also the author of more than 20 children’s books, plus numerous magazine, newspaper, and Web articles. George’s most recent work is the coffee table book, The Katrina Dolphins: One-Way Ticket to Paradise, which is a true story about 8 dolphins from an oceanarium that were washed out to sea during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and dramatically rescued a few weeks later.


adventures said...

Great tips, Caitlin; thanks for sharing!

Paul O'Sullivan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul O'Sullivan said...

The least helpful tip: Hook people. Give them a reason to come back. (every knows this - how is the question).

The most helpful tip: Social media is a main communications tool for media/the press. (this is an important trend to mention).

Thank you for taking the time to write this. I couldn't bring myself to funding a PR firm's social media marketing event just to attend. Ugh! But, I did post this article on my Modern Publicity fb fan page and look forward to reading more on this blog.

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