Social media marketing is a new and growing field of study.
As someone who is now charged with teaching the basics in this field to college students I decided to turn to some experts and ask them three questions for a series of blog posts.
The answers were always informative and sometimes surprising. Today, in case you missed any of the posts, I recap highlights from the first 10 experts who agreed to talk to me (new posts in the series will begin later this week):
The First 10 Social Marketing Experts:
Clearly connect business objectives to social efforts, says Aaron Strout, author of Location Based Marketing For Dummies. "If you’re engaging and connecting with people on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook leads to good things for your business, it is a worthwhile activity."
Don’t be timid was the advice from Scott Monty of Ford Motor Company. He went on to say that successful social marketers are those "who will try new things and be willing to fail, and who will constantly learn from his or her mistakes."
Be patient counseled Hubspot’s Sam Mallikarjunan. Social marketing is "a long, ongoing process of relationship building," he said. "Expecting easy wins is a guaranteed way to get frustrated and fail."
Understand engagement, said Deirdre Breakendridge, author and CEO of Pure Performance. "A successful social marketer knows why they want to engage in social communities and how a particular program will serve the needs of the audience in the community."
The real future of marketing is in content creation and data, said marketer and author Mark Schaefer. Students must grasp the basics of marketing, but beyond that, math and writing will be the keys, he said.
Make music to an audience’s ears, said Mahei Foliaki (@Iconic88). "Those that play the best music for their audience win," he said. "Knowing what, how, why and when to play is the competitive edge."
'Walk the talk,' said Kodak’s Jennifer Cisney. In social media nothing beats firsthand experience, she said. Therefore a successful social marketer, "uses social media themselves and knows the tools, the best practices and the protocol."
Social is 'part and parcel of marketing,' said Christopher Penn of WhatCounts. Social is "a channel, in the same way that email, news, PR, direct mail, SEO, advertising, etc. are channels.… If you want to really succeed, you need to know how it interoperates with other channels.
Communication is the key, said Cheryl Burgess of Blue Focus Marketing. This means all employees must be truly unified behind the scenes or a brand risks presenting an inconsistent, potentially schizophrenic message.
Make your communications 'special,' said Eric Miltsch of DrivingSales. College graduates must be able to communicate on every level: In-person, writing, phone skills and video, because "every one of these is an opportunity to connect and have an impact," he said.
So, is there a social marketer you’d like to hear from? And, just how important will social marketing be in the future and what MUST graduating students know?