Social marketing from the trenches

Why social media?  What’s so special about it?  Is is the ability to create exclusivity among groups of friends, colleagues, customers?  Is it simply a breath of fresh air away from talking on cell phones and being glued to televisions, mixed with a heavy dose of mobility and ease of use?  Maybe it’s the transformation of language into further short hand which speeds up the communication process and buys us precious seconds, to watch more kitten videos or movie trailers.

It’s all of those things and more.  So first, how are you participating in it yourself as a marketer, as a company, as a consumer?  And how are your customers participating?  If you are one those who answer with “I study but I don’t actively engage in it myself”, I’m thinking, at the very least, that you’re missing the nuance between liking a post and actually taking action.  Between following someone or an organization and recommending them to others.  I’m not saying you can’t be effective, I’m saying, you could be more effective.  Isn’t that the ongoing goal of every marketer, to be more and more effective?

As a marketer, being an active participant is key and social media is a red hot trend.  By actively engaging in as many networks as reasonable for your resources (and let’s look at that briefly in a moment), you learn the nuances of the network which include the language, the features, how and when successes are being made.  Your participation builds your reputation and you become a thought leader, a subject matter expert.  Yes, the room is sometimes filled with them, when you’re in a social media conference or when you’re following your peers.  That’s the time to extend the antennae, to listen for the best voices, to ask important questions.  Where do they see the best conversions?  What tools are they using to measure performance?  Where do they go for inspiration?

As you participate, be aware of your voice, be aware of your goals.   While it may be your goal to use a dozen different social networks, ask yourself if you are maximizing your efforts or stretching thin.  It doesn’t usually make sense to sacrifice good content in order to cast a wider net.  Make sure your goals are attainable.  You’ll be glad you did.

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