I came across an article today, saying that Brian Solis' book Engage was going to answer 10 questions about social media marketing that people in communications, marketing, and business in general want to know. The thing about the post is that it was just that; questions. Pretty much, it was saying in order to get the questions answered, you had to read the book. Don't get me wrong; I am not knocking Mr. Solis; in fact, I'm following him on Twitter. He's a cool guy, but I like to think I'm pretty cool too.
Here are the 10 questions, and my answers to them for free:
- Where does social media fit in marketing and communications: It fits in right along with the other tactics people use. Social media is not the nerdy new kid that has no where to sit at lunch; in fact, it's the cool, mysterious new kid that everyone wants to know about. "Sit at my table, social media! Eat lunch with me!" Social media is communicating and can be used to market. You don't have to pick and choose.
- What social tools and technologies are available? What are their differences and how do they work for marketers: The tools and technologies are virtually endless. There's a new one popping up just about everyday. I mentioned some that I use in my handy dandy social media toolbox as well as how they work.
- How do you manage multi-channel social media participation? What tools are for listening, publishing, promoting and measuring: Also mentioned in the social media toolbox post, I honestly believe Hootsuite is the best one where you can do all of the above: listen, publish, promote, and measure. Of course, I'm finding more as I go on, like Postling, Sendible, and Radian6. I suggest researching them all, weighing the pros and cons of each program, and just testing them out.
- Search results can be optimized, how do you optimize social media: In an article I was reading, the CEO of AOL, Tim Armstrong, said "social media...is a distribution platform" and I agree; I use social media to spread the word about content on a site/blog. It makes no sense to have content in multiple places; you're cheating yourself of traffic and link power. Build a network of people to share your content, and bring them to you.
- How do you develop social networks and distribution channels: You have to work your way up the totem pole. It is not necessarily difficult, but it's definitely not easy either; it's amazingly time consuming. You can do it quickly with the tips I gave in the microwave social integration post.
- What are social champions and how do we find, engage, and develop influentials: I don't know what Brian considers them, but to me, social champions are people who consider themselves the gurus of the social media world. You can find them by searching through Twitter lists (my personal favorite way), and going through finding who other people think are worthy of considering masters. They all have their own personal way to get their attention, but if you want to develop yourself into one, same thing, lots of time and dedication.
- How do you develop a social media strategy: This needs to be elaborated in more than 2-3 sentences, so I will write a separate post for it (check back soon).
- What are the logistical and process considerations for planning, implementing, and managing social web participation for companies: It's different for every company; there's definitely no "one size fits all" approach to it. First, the company has to want to participate in social media. You have to know why, and the reason has to be more than "everybody's doing it." Next, have a company wide brain-storming session regarding what they think social media is, how your company can benefit from it, and what your audience can get out of it too. Put it on paper (or on the computer), come up with a SWOT analysis as well as timeline, designate your social media team (or person), and have reports to review weekly of your progress.
- How do we foster and manage social customer relationships: The majority of people getting into social media are not just getting into business; you already have a customer base. Depending on your type of business, let your established customers know that you're on social networks (signs, e-mail blasts, buttons on your website, etc.), and encourage them to spread the word, possibly with incentives. Rewarding interaction always does great for those who are starting off, and checking in with customers shows that you care.
- How can we develop social media teams in an organization and create a model for social participation within our organization: What I'm doing is coming up with a PowerPoint presentation for my company showing them what I do on a day-to-day basis. I'm going through the different sites I'm using, the average user on these sites, how to use these sites, and what we reap from using them. I've done this with other companies as well, including showing them a first hand demonstration. Do something similar with your company and see who's interested in taking on some of those roles. Provide a training if you want to just use the people you have, or hire people who already know what they're doing (like ambitious 19 year olds who are determined to start their own company so they do shameless self plugging in their blog posts). If you want everyone involved and they just don't get it, ask them to include links to your social profiles in their e-mail signatures.
I answered all the questions (with the exception of #7 which I'll get back to separately), and you didn't have to pay a dime outside of what you pay your internet service provider. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this stuff out, and it doesn't cost $11.99 to read it on your Kindle either. I'm not trying to seem like a know it all. I do my research just like my older counterparts, but age is the number that scares many people away. Hopefully you learned something from this incoming junior.