Social media marketing is a new and growing field of study. As someone who is now charged with teaching the basics in this field to college students I have turned to experts to ask them three questions about what makes a successful social marketer and how important social will be as a part of the marketing mix.
I’ve now asked these questions of 20 experts. Their answers were always informative and sometimes surprising.
Today, in case you missed any of the posts, I recap highlights from the second 10 experts who agreed to talk to me (see the link below to read a summary of the first 10). New posts in the series will begin later this week:
The Second 10 Social Marketing Experts:
In the future social success will require "utility marketing", according to Avinash Kaushik, Digital Marketing Evangelist for Google, and author of two best-selling books: Web Analytics: An Hour A Day and Web Analytics 2.0. Utility marketing, he says, is marketing provides useful content and avoids the opposite: "shouting and pimping."
Talk to people as human beings, said Gini Dietrich, the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communications firm. "If a social marketer knows how to talk to people without being a marketer – in the traditional sense of the word – he or she will succeed every time," she said.
Social media is definitely a team sport, according to Scott DeYager, Social Media and Strategic Communications Manager at Toyota. He went on to say that to succeed students require writing and storytelling skills as well as a knack for team building.
Understanding "how marketing fits into an overall business picture," was the advice of Amber Naslund, president and co-founder of SideraWorks. She noted: "Too few marketers understand how the work they do affects the rest of the organization."
"Social can be the lighter fluid on the marketing bonfire," said Ric Dragon, author of Social Marketology and CEO of DragonSearch. He urges students to understand that "by integrating traditional marketing tactics with social, more value will be realized from each component of the marketing."
Understand "the basic fundamentals of marketing and communicating with the target market", Suzanne Vara, founder of Kherize5, advised students. They should also be well "versed in how the target audience uses the tools, engages with the tools and with others," she says.
"Being interesting" is the key to successful in social marketing, said Paul Gillin, a social media trainer and author of five books about online communities, including the new Social Marketing to the Business Customer (with Eric Schwartzman). "Successful social marketers have the ability to create a unique persona and content stream that engages the audiences they want to reach," he said.
Creativity and innovation are key skills to have in social marketing according to Dan Leveille, Product Marketing Manager at deviantART.com. He explained: "You need to stand out from the rest by having innovative campaigns that not only get people's attention, but retain it."
Stay away from quick "win" activities like contests, advised Steve Farnsworth, the Chief Digital Strategist at Jolt Digital Marketing and a Forbes Top 50 Social Media Influencer. Instead of contests, develop "a deep understanding of what customers actually want from the brand," he counseled.
It’s time to re-evaluate the Product, Price, Place and Promotion approach to marketing, said Valerie Simon, marketer and co-founder of the #PRStudChat (PR Student Chat) and#HAPPO (Help a PR Pro Out) Twitter chats. Those traditional "4 Ps" have been replaced by the "4 Ss," she said, "Service, Solution, Simplicity and Sharing."
So, what do you think? How important will social marketing be in the future and what MUST graduating students know?
The First 10 Experts Weigh In On Social Marketing
Social Marketing: Clearly connect business objectives, says author Aaron Strout
Social Marketing: Don’t be timid, says Ford’s Scott Monty
Social Marketing: A good marketer 'walks the talk,' says Kodak’s Jennifer Cisney