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Social Marketing: Listen and Understand, Says Marketer and Author Kent Huffman

What are the most important social media marketing skills that graduating college students need to understand?

Kent Huffman

I’m asking three questions of some leaders in the field of social marketing and this is what I learned. 


Today: Kent Huffman, is the Chief Marketing Officer at BearCom Wireless, Co-Publisher of Social Media Marketing Magazine, and author of the new book, 8 Mandates for Social Media Marketing Success. He holds a bachelor's degree in marketing from Texas State University and can be found on Twitter as @KentHuffman.

Listening to and understanding what’s happening on social media are the keys to social marketing success, says Huffman.

"Of primary importance is the ability and willingness to listen and comprehend on social media before making the leap into that world," he says.

Almost as important are such things as "planning carefully, developing relationships, establishing trust, demonstrating leadership, building community and ensuring value."

Graduating students need a broad understanding of the mechanics of how to use the primary tools and channels (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, blogs, etc.), Huffman says.

Beyond that, "the most important key to success with social media marketing is comprehending and applying the behavioral traits of individuals and brands that have already been successful," he says.

"The importance of social media in the marketing mix has been rapidly rising over the past three or four years, particularly in the B2C arena."

Business-to-business marketers, whom Huffman says, "typically lag behind when it comes to adopting new trends … have begun jumping on board” and using social media. That’s a "strong sign," he says, "that social media marketing isn’t a fad but is here to stay."

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