A Brief Guide to Social Marketing Management and the Importance of Getting It Right

Absolutely. No one needs to tell you how popular sites like Twitter and Facebook are in this day and age. But do you realise the potential value to your business? Chances are your company has a Facebook page, upon which you idly post from time to time. Or maybe you ‘tweet’ the odd comment. In which case you probably haven’t noticed the benefit to your business. Put a little more time and energy (and yes, money probably) into social media and social marketing management however and you could build a valuable platform for yourself, and your customers.

Why is social marketing management important?

A social marketing management team is there to enhance a brand and promote the business. The end goal is the same as a traditional marketing team. It is simply the channels through which that goal is achieved that are different.

Social media is the new way of connecting with customers. A social marketing management team will use information gleaned from social media to learn about their customers – who they are, what they are thinking, what appeals to them.

Social media can also be used to create a brand identity, by encouraging customers to talk about the brand in the right way. Discussions can be started and led and conversations steered. Social media is a valuable tool when it comes to creating a buzz about a product or brand. The social marketing management team are there to ensure the right buzz is created and a positive image is generated by the social media.

It is difficult to measure the effect of social media on businesses, as often there is no clear link between the level of activity on social media sites and the resulting return on that level of activity. However a recent study from the School of Management at the Buffalo State University of New York showed that if customers are engaged in the business via a social media platform, they are more likely to visit the website than customers who are not engaged in this way. This then translates to income for the business.

Ram Bezawada, assistant professor of marketing at the University, stated “Our results show that when customers engage with a business through social media they contribute about 5.6% more to the firm’s bottom line than customers who do not.”

So how does social media encourage customers to visit the company’s website or take a closer look at the business? For one, social media strengthens the relationship between the customer and the business. It creates a bond between the two and the customer feels more engaged and involved in the company, which translates into the customer feeling listened to and understood.

This leads on to the next point: social media can provide a valuable platform for customers to voice their comments, concerns and complaints. It might not seem like a good idea to offer a medium upon which customers can air their complaints for all the world to see, however it can provide an invaluable opportunity to turn things around – a complaint that is promptly and sensitively handled will impress customers and win loyalty. Of course, social media might also be the platform upon which a customer will heap their praise, too, letting all the other potential customers know about their positive experience. There is no better form of endorsement.

As Bezawada from the State University of New York states, “When building communities, businesses should craft personalized messages, encourage member contribution, integrate knowledge about customers from both online and offline interactions, and create specialized sub-communities for customers looking for premium and unique products.”

However, creating personalised messages and encouraging contributions from customers takes time. Taking it one step further and using customer interactions to glean knowledge takes even more time and requires a good degree of analysis.Which is where the social marketing management team come in. Good analysis of the data from social media can drive corporate strategy.

What does social marketing management involve?

Social marketing management involves managing the company’s social channels. This sounds obvious, but a social marketing team does not simply monitor and respond to customer comments and prepare content such as blogs, posts and newsletters. Social marketing management also involves assessing the best methods and technology to boost web traffic to the business, looking at areas such as search engine optimisation, user experience and content.

The next step on the social marketing management list is reporting. Numbers are important: click-throughs, fans, followers, tweets, comments, posts; and so is the less concrete information that can be gleaned – customer feedback, good and bad, reflects brand perception and how customers feel generally about the brand.

This type of customer feedback can then be used by management to figure out how to deliver improved performance to their customers and improve their user experience. It engages the management team with the customer on a personal level in a way in which they haven’t been able to do before.

Where might a business expect to spend money on social marketing management?

Well, that depends on the level of complexity of your business and social media campaigns. There arecustomer relationship management tools and software platforms that can perform analytics and automated email campaigns, for which you might pay $1,000 to $4,000 a month.

For a fee of perhaps $5,000 to $16,000 a business can employ a specialist company to provide inbound marketing support.Typically, a good social marketing management strategy might involve: keyword analysis and strategy, content creationsuch as blogs, SEO content and PR Social media support (setup, training and guidance), email campaigns, customer relationship management, competitor monitoring and analysis and performance reports, to name but a few elements.

Another cost consideration is content creation. The larger your campaign, the more online content you’ll need to create, and unless you have the internal resources to create this content, you’ll need to outsource it to writers.

This all sounds fairly pricey and the costs do add up. However,as with any marketing spend, it will pay you back. Or it should, provided you do it right.

In a nutshell?

It can’t really be described in a single ‘nutshell’. This is because social marketing management is not only about increasing web traffic and driving up revenue, it is also about creating an identity for the company, developing a personality for the business or creating a buzz around a new product. It’s about generating conversations between the customers and the business and creating an online community for the customers to get involved with. It’s much more than just lurking on the company Facebook page and popping up to write the odd witty post or deal with a customer complaint. It is promotion, branding, market research and customer care all wrapped up into one.

Which is why social marketing management is so important in this new digital era businesses find themselves in. And why it’s worth investing in. Get it right and it could transform an ailing company. Get it wrong and it can alienate and disillusion a customer base. Ignore it all together and valuable market share will be lost in droves.

Learn Social Marketing Tactics That Generate Traffic Instantly

Social marketing has been getting a lot of buzz lately in the internet marketing industry.

This is easy to understand since social media sites combined get more traffic per month than Google.

However, this increased attention to social sites has resulted in many coaching programs being released from so-called internet marketing gurus that promise to reveal the secrets to how you can get massive amounts of traffic and make tons of money from social marketing strategies.

The problem with this is:

  • these programs are often very expensive
  • who do you trust?
  • are they actually teaching methods that work?

These are all very relevant concerns. Especially when you consider that these so-called experts may be just jumping on the social marketing bandwagon and looking to make some money while the topic is hot.

Who should you listen to?

When it comes to social marketing, one person that you can trust is Jack Humphrey.

Jack and his team were offering social marketing training back in 2006, before anyone really knew anything about this method of driving tons of highly targeted traffic to a website.

A free guide to web 2.0 marketing that Jack originally published in 2007 set the standard for professional and organized marketing with social media.

This free ebook, recently updated for 2008, has been downloaded over 40,000 times and was named the best free ebook for bloggers by Mashable.com, the largest online community for social marketing and media with well over 5 million visitors per month.

When Rich Schefren wrote The Attention Age Doctrine Part 2, he went to Jack for advice on how to use social media.

Rich would call Jack a Social Marketing Maven.

Mike Filsaime hired Jack as a social marketing consultant earlier this year and he stated quite frankly that he thinks what Jack can teach him is so powerful and so explosive that he is going to spend $36,000 over the next year to have Jack teach him everything he knows about social marketing.

Fortunately, you don’t have to pay big money to learn from this social media maven.

You can get hold of his latest guide to social marketing for free.

What you can expect:

  • 67 pages of quality content  
  • Easy to read and reference format  
  • Loaded with resources and strategies

What you will learn:

  • Responsible social marketing tactics that skyrocket your search engine rankings
  • How to drive massive, direct traffic from authority links

What you will Not find:

  • A “plug in and play” system
  • A short-term plan using questionable methods and spamming that do not support long-term online presence and growth

Jack writes in a very honest , up-front, and slightly-in-your-face style.

As he says, “What have I got to lose by telling a few uncomfortable truths? I’m giving the thing away, right?”

Here’s an example of an uncomfortable truth that you need to know when it comes to social media:

All the traffic that people talk about from sites like Digg is all but worthless. Despite what the so-called experts are saying, you need to know how to go far beyond simply getting traffic from the social sites themselves in order to bet achieve quality, measurable results from social marketing.

The approach that Jack Humphrey takes is different because he tells you how to get the kind of traffic and links that work to drastically increase your conversions and get higher search engine rankings on more keyword terms than you ever thought possible.

You will also learn:

  • video marketing (Google loves video links!) – how to create and syndicate video to the top video sharing sites  
  • what linkbait really is, how to write it, and how to use it to create a massive buzz and generate hundreds of backlinks in the process  
  • a free tool that with the click of a button will instantly bookmark any page on the web in all the social bookmarking sites  
  • step by step details on how to execute the strategies, including all the technical information, that the author, Jack Humphrey, uses himself everyday  
  • the right way to use RSS subscriptions to skyrocket your exposure (most webmasters and marketers are doing RSS the wrong way) 

The bottom line is that social marketing is bigger, badder, and far more effective than any other marketing tactic, including paid advertising, for driving huge amounts of targeted traffic.

Social Marketing Strategies That Put T in Twitter!

Here are a few methods that are currently being used to take advantage of the global popularity of social communities and micro blogging:

Generate interest in your products and services quickly and easily.

Develop new business by expanding your outreach through the use of micro-blogging related websites and social networks that feature an ever-growing marketplace.

Build a list of active subscribers and increase retention by staying active with your list members by posting frequent updates, announcements and news.

Instantly announce the launch of new projects, websites and blogs and offer pre-release access and beta testing invitations to a select group. Build a brand for yourself and your business effortlessly by repeatedly placing yourself in front of a crowd of potential customers.

Establish or build relationships with potential Joint Venture partners, and other like-minded individuals for possible partnership and mutual promotion.

Poll and survey a large network of users by posting questions relating to product ideas currently in development, or generate new ideas from posts, questions and messages from others in your industry.

With social marketing, it requires a different approach than that of traditional marketing, because it requires social interaction, including engaging your potential customer base on a regular and consistent basis.

Here are a few ways to get started: While there are hundreds of potential targets, it’s recommended that you focus on the most popular, active communities where finding your target customers and existing markets are easier to locate and penetrate. One of these social communities has taken the Internet by storm and is used by both professionals; celebrities and even politicians can be found at twitter

To begin, if you don’t yet have a twitter account, you will want to create one over at twitter’s website creating your twitter account is fast and easy, however once you have activated your account there are a number of different elements that you will want to tweak to ensure that your profile is working overtime for you. Here is a step by step guide to optimizing your twitter account.

Begin by visiting the main website and clicking on the Get Started link. When it comes to choosing an identity on twitter, you will want to create an account that features a username that is tied to your brand, or online presence.

When you create a Twitter account, your chosen username becomes a part of your twitter URL. You want people to identify you, and even if you are a new marketer or online business, you can still benefit from the recognition you’ll receive, over time, by linking your twitter account to a name that you are interested in branding.

It’s been said that choosing a username that utilizes specific keywords relating to your product or market will also help your Twitter account rank higher in the search engines like Google You will also want to make it easy for people to remember your username, and be able to visit your profile, or refer other twitter users to you, so keep it short and memorable.

After you have set up your Twitter account, you will want to upload an avatar and finish setting up your profile area. Many people are hesitant to follow anyone who hasn’t filled in their profile information, or added an image to represent themselves throughout the Twitter community.

This can be your real photo of yourself, a logo representing your company or website, a stock photo image or even a mascot, created to help you further establish your brand (very effective tactic, especially within social websites where your image is seen repeatedly).

People identify better with a real photo than they do with a caricature, logo or mascot. You can change any of the information featured within your profile, as well as the avatar that you attach to your account, at any time in the future.

On your main Twitter profile page, you will see several options available, including the chance to update your profile area and add additional information about yourself or your business in this section. You will want to add in your website URL, as well as a bit of information about who you are, and what you are interested or involved in.

Here is a quick summary of what the various profile fields mean: Name: This is where you add in your full name or company name. Username: This will showcase your current username and allow you to change it if you wish.

Once again, be careful doing this as your former username will become available for registration. Your Email Address: This is where all notifications, including Twitter updates and emails alerting you to new followers will be sent.

You can choose to disable updates, to prevent excessive system messages. Your time zone: Adjust this to reflect your current time zone, so that you can identify tweet times. More Info URL: This is where you will add in your website URL.

Very important! Make sure to showcase a live, working whatever website. You can edit this at any time should you wish to promote a different website in the future. you enter here will appear on your main twitter profile page and be visible by those previewing your Twitter page prior to following you.

Your Bio: A short description of yourself or your company.
Important Bio Tip: Use keywords that relate to your products, services or market as these keywords entered into Twitters search bar will help people find you easier, or match you based on their specifications.