What are the most important social media marketing skills that graduating college students need to understand?
I'm asking three questions of some leaders in the field of social marketing and this is what I learned. This is No. 23 in the series (see the links below for other posts in the series).
Today: 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. She can be found on Twitter as: @lulugrimm
A passion for connecting people and being curious are keys to social marketing success, says Grimm.
"If you're inquisitive and passionate about how mass communication tools can connect people, you should make a fine social marketer," she says.
"Innate curiosity, passion for people, a strong foundational knowledge of mass communication and wicked interpersonal, written and verbal communication skills are integral skills in social marketing," she adds.
"Social media is about connection and today brands/businesses have the opportunity to 'connect' with consumers/customers online the same way (and in the same networks) people are connecting with their friends and families.
"This 'opportunity' should be respected and treated with great care," Grimm says.
"And I believe it is those who seek to understand what matters to their audience, how to create meaningful and relevant content that evolves and sustains relationships are those who succeed in social marketing."
What separates a successful social marketer from the others?
"Those who question and challenge convention," Grimm says. "Additionally, those who have generated results rather than talking about how to get them."
And, just how important is social marketing as part of the marketing mix?
"It's essential, as is strategic planning, PR, advertising (print and digital), content (collateral, print and digital) and measurement," Grimm says.
"At a minimum, the social web provides a great barometer for the climate of a brand and its competitors," she says.
"So if nothing else you can gain great intel from social listening that informs strategic communication development.
"Beyond this, social media provides the opportunity to have direct relationships with consumers and an unprecedented rate of word of mouth, which can be extremely positive or negative," Grimm says.
"Never before has this existed and the opportunities are endless."
So, what do you think? How important is social marketing in the future of marketing and what MUST graduating students know?