Social Marketing from the Inside Out
Social media marketing is here to stay. It is a pervasive part of our world that is expanding and accessible 24 hours a day. It is no longer a secondary tool to be used when word needs to get out about your latest offer. Nor is it a task to be delegated to the summer intern. Social media is an essential element in your company’s integrated online marketing plan for 2014.
Inside Social Marketing
Social marketing is much bigger than just one profile, one channel, or one person. Simply having a Facebook business page or a LinkedIn group is not enough anymore. Setting your business up for social marketing success involves working from the inside out. It takes time and organizational readiness to encourage all levels of the business to participate in the company’s social media presence. Adopt a company culture that embraces social media and begin constructing a formal social marketing program with clear business goals and objectives. Encourage company thought leaders to work in tandem with the social team on content creation and furthering social reach.
Socialize Rather Than Advertise
Social marketing means having conversations and creating engagement online through a variety of social media tools, such as blogs, online communities, video, photos, and social networking platforms. As social technology drives us headlong into the age of mass collaboration, earning your online community’s trust becomes the real return on investment. The more your social community trusts you, the more they will respect your opinion and the more they will buy from you.
Setting up the foundation for your social marketing program:
- Stakeholder buy-in, social skillset, and understanding of social media
- A formal social marketing program with clear goals and objectives
- A company-wide commitment to integrate social marketing into all campaigns
- Qualified social marketing director to take organizational ownership of social media
- Adequate budget allocation for scalable workforce and content creation
- Strategic choice of social media sites to reach your target market
- Solid website that is optimized to handle social traffic and convert
- Written governance policy that lays the foundation for social media behavior
Commit to Quality Content
Online trust is earned through the demonstration of thought leadership. This entails an organizational commitment to creating quality content to be shared across the company’s social channels. Sharing content that speaks directly to the needs of the community adds value to conversations and allows your brand to become a relevant part of the dialogue.
“Even when you are marketing to your entire audience or customer base, you are still simply speaking to a single human at any given time. Worry less about sounding professional and worry more about creating remarkable content that other humans can relate to.” – Ann Handley Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs.
Talk to Consumer Needs
The term “social marketing” has existed for over 30 years and has referred to an advocacy of a social cause or “social good.” But now with Google’s emphasis on “real and unique value through content” the primary focus in marketing has shifted away from the product or service to the social good of the consumer. Social content is created with the wants and needs of the target market in mind as opposed to the old way of trying to persuade people that they “need” or “want” whatever the business happens to be producing. Social marketing talks to the consumer needs, not about the product.
Social Resource Allocation
Stakeholder understanding and company buy-in are crucial in leading the organization into social participation. Adequate resources must be allocated to support the necessary time investment. From sales to marketing, customer relations to product development– all who are associated with the face of your business will eventually be contributing to the balance of social communication throughout the various customer touch points.
Social Staffing Considerations
The amount of resources required to execute a social marketing program depend on:
- Weekly social time commitments
- Strategic goals
- Number of platforms utilized
- Content strategy
- Current and future community size
How Much Should I Spend On Social Media?
This is one of the most commonly asked questions about social media. Whether in-house or outsourced, your monthly social marketing budget should be based on the cost of hiring the number of full-time employees to meet your social media needs. To save on the cost of additional office space, computer equipment, software, graphic design fees, training and vacation time, you may consider outsourcing to a social marketing agency.
Social Marketing Roles
For small to medium-sized businesses creating a winning social marketing model, will require a team of 1-3 fulltime employees committed solely to social media. The first of which, the social marketing director, can come from within the organization, can be hired from outside the company or can be outsourced to a professional marketing agency. This team leader will need to have a Bachelor’s degree and/or a solid 10+ years’ experience in marketing and a mastery of the various social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube…
These are the key roles that you will need for an effective social marketing team:
1. Social Marketing Director
Responsibilities include: Development of monthly editorial calendar, blueprint for cross pollination and channel flow, analysis of social trends and insights, data analysis and report generation, strong technical tool expertise (Facebook, Twitter…), solid marketing background and experience, coordination of content, graphics, community management, email marketing, and blog publishing…
2. The Content Creator
Responsibilities include: Writing copy and repurposing content in alignment with the monthly strategy including blog posts, whitepapers, e-books, landing pages, social posts, SlideShares, PowerPoint presentations, video descriptions…
3. The Graphic Designer/Coder
Responsibilities include: creating all multimedia content in conjunction with the content creator, according to the monthly strategy including blog graphics, visual marketing posts, cover images, profile branding, PowerPoint presentations, video graphics…
4. The Community Manager
An organization’s social community may have 1 or multiple community managers. This is the public face of the company. Responsibilities include: day-to-day activities on social channels, daily engagement, monitoring brand mentions, scheduling and implementation of content calendar, moderation of comments and conversations, management of social tools, product support and customer service…
Hiring an outside agency can be a cost-effective solution to starting and managing your company social media program. Agencies offer an entire team of skilled experts including community managers, social strategists, graphic designers and copywriters equipped with the latest computer equipment, software and graphics. Have a question about social media marketing or what you should look for in an agency? Feel free to contact us.
For more Social Media resources visit:
Glossary Of Twerminology | Twitter For Business
Twitosphere Quick Start | Twitter For Business
Anatomy Of A Tweet | Twitter For Business
Don’t Use Social Media | FREE Email & Social Checklist
Listen Up! | FREE Social Media Listening Checklist
9-Step Social Media Plan For Marketers and Business Owners
10 Steps to Power-Up Your LinkedIn Profile
Social Media Survival Essentials for Your Company
And remember, our team is always available if you have any questions or need help getting started. Our support center is available 24/7.