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. 13 in the series (see the links below for other posts in the series).
Today: Suzanne Vara, who is the founder of Kherize5, an advertising and marketing agency that develops marketing strategies in traditional advertising and social media. She can be found on Twitter at @SuzanneVara:
A good education in "the basic fundamentals of marketing and communicating with the target market" is essential for social marketing success, says Vara.
Recent college grads need to be well "versed in how the target audience uses the tools, engages with the tools and with others" and how those target consumers interact with the brand and other brands, she says.
"Listening to the target allows you to hone core skills and effectively communicate with the audience."
Vara says social marketers who talk to current customers, target customers and past customers in a way that makes them comfortable are likely to have success.
Successful social marketers are also excellent listeners, she says.
"When you listen to the target and truly understand what they want from your brand, you will be able to develop and deliver the marketing message that they will respond to."
Vara says that while social media is an important part of the marketing mix it may not be for everyone. "Should every brand be active on all the available social media tools? No," says Vara.
"However, every brand should be open to being educated about the new technology that is available and how they can integrate that into their overall marketing strategy."
So, what do you think? How important will social marketing be in the future and what MUST graduating students know?
10 Experts Weigh In On Social Marketing
Social Marketing: It's definitely a team sport, says Toyota's Scott DeYager
Social Marketing: 'Talk to people as human beings,' says Gini Dietrich, marketer and author
Social Marketing: Its 'part of a nutritious breakfast,' says Christopher Penn of WhatCounts
Social Marketing: Communication is the key, says Cheryl Burgess of Blue Focus
Social Marketing: Understand engagement, says Deirdre Breakendridge of Pure Performance