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The Work Behind Social Marketing

Posted on Feb 25, 2013 in Digital Marketing | 1 comment

My previous mini-series on Search Engine Marketing got me thinking about some of the myths of other types of digital marketing, especially social media marketing. Some people think that social marketing is voodoo. Other think it’s a new broadcast medium. The truth is, it’s just the plain old hard work of maintaining a dialog with your community. I’ve written that digital marketing techniques like SEO and SEM take a roll-up-your-sleeves effort to make them effective; you don’t just throw money at keywords and wait for the sales come rolling in. This is especially true for social media marketing. There is no “if you build it they will come”; social media is a digital marketing channel, but it’s not just about delivering content. It’s about conversations. It’s about participating. The work is ongoing, and it’s work that pays off. No voodoo. It’s not even complex or high tech. The techniques of social media marketing revolve around creating and maintaining conversations. As a marketer, you need to find the voices within your company that your audience most wants to hear. And you need to make sure that those voices come across as professional, articulate, and in step with your company goals, while remaining authentic and sincere. But even more important is in hearing what you audience has to say, and in reacting to their thoughts. You need to direct their ideas like a traffic cop to all parts of your organization, where those groups can digest, synthesize, respond, and react appropriately. This is a magical opportunity to hear what customers (or donors), potential customers, press, investors, and members of your industry have to say about you. And you have to respond. It’s a way to let the voice of the customer touch all the places in your organization that it needs to touch, so that you can improve customer support, operational execution, quality, discover features and services that people want, respond to missteps, or dispel misconceptions. You are doing this publicly, with little safety net, in a forum that will recognize insincerity, and yet professionally and in a way that you don’t open up the potential for liability. (Easy, right?) This...

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