Social marketing experts: Top, from left: David Amerland, Tamara Littleton, Lisa Grimm, Jason Falls, Sandra Zoratti; Bottom, from left: Ted Rubin, Neal Schaffer, Peggy Fitzpatrick, Kent Huffman, Aaron Lee
Social media marketing is a new and growing field of study. Facing the prospect of teaching social marketing basics in a rapidly changing business environment to college students I have turned to experts to ask them three questions.
I've now asked these questions of 30 experts. Their answers always impressed me and were always informative.
Today, in case you've missed any of the posts, I recap highlights from the most recent 10 experts who talked to me (links to previous posts are below while new posts in the series will begin later this week):
The Third 10 Social Marketing Experts:
Don't focus too heavily on the technology, said David Amerland, author of several books including The Social Media Mind, SEO Help, Online Marketing Help and Brilliant SEO. "The technology moves so fast that focusing your skillsets around specific platforms (like Facebook or G+, for example) is self-defeating and will only help you feel dated and out of touch faster," he said.
"Create a personality for your company on social media that resonates with your audiences,", advised Tamara Littleton, founder and CEO of eModeration a social media management agency with offices in London, New York and Los Angeles. "I think some marketers are afraid of showing a human side when they approach social media and that's a big mistake," she said. "No-one wants to talk to an anonymous logo."
Being passionate about connecting people and being curious are keys to social marketing success , said Lisa Grimm, Senior Manager, Social Strategy at Imagination, for whom she works onsite at General Mills leading social presence, social strategy development and brand/product integration for Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Eat Better America and Tablespoon. "If you're inquisitive and passionate about how mass communication tools can connect people, you should make a fine social marketer," she said.
"Gotta be able to communicate well", said Jason Falls, the man behind Social Media Explorer, a strategic services agency and an information products company focusing on social media marketing and digital marketing, and co-author of No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing. "Clarity in communication is probably the top skill you need for any job, but this world is all about connecting audiences with messages and vice-versa," he said.
Converse, don't broadcast, was the advice of Sandra Zoratti , Vice President, Global Marketing for Ricoh and co-author of Precision Marketing: Maximizing Revenue Through Relevance. "Consumer conversations, not marketing messages, increasingly determine what gets attention and what gets ignored," she said.
Be yourself, get to know who people are, said Ted Rubin, Chief Social Marketing Officer at Collective Bias, inventor of the term ROR: Return on Relationship and the Most-Followed CMO on Twitter. "Show sincere interest in others," he said. "Listen, but most important ... hear. Look at your own behaviors and ask yourself, 'Would I want to be my friend?'"
Social media marketing requires three distinct kinds of thinking, opined Neal Schaffer, president of Windmills Marketing, a social media strategic consultancy, speaker, author of the books Maximizing LinkedIn for Sales and Social Media Marketing and Windmill Networking: Understanding, Leveraging & Maximizing LinkedIn. Analytical thinking, creative thinking and "analogue social thinking." "Social marketing is not rocket science, but it requires a different mindset," he said. "I believe that traditional marketing and business skills are still important in social marketing, but social media marketing definitely requires that you are strong in these areas."
Engaging with your community is very important, saidPeggy Fitzpatrick, Director of Marketing and Social Media Manager for Kreussler Inc., the Brand Sparker at re:DESIGNand a writer and Managing Partner at 12 Most. "If you don't enjoy being social with people, this is not the venue for you," she said. "I genuinely love hearing from people who follow me or that I follow, they brighten my day."
Listening to and understanding what's happening on social media are the keys, said Kent Huffman, 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. Important things are "planning carefully, developing relationships, establishing trust, demonstrating leadership, building community and ensuring value," he said.
Passion is the key to social marketing success, according to Aaron Lee, an entrepreneur based in Malaysia, who is the Social Media Marketing Director for Binkd, a social media contest campaign platform provider, and who blogs at Ask Aaron Lee. "Passion is what separates every successful person from others," he said. "You can feel it in what they do and how passionate they are to help others be successful as well."
So, what do you think? How important will social marketing be in the future and what MUST graduating students know?