Monday, September 17, 2012

Social Marketing: Understand how marketing fits in, says Amber Naslund of SideraWorks

What are the most important social media marketing skills that graduating college students need to understand?

Amber Naslund
I’m asking three questions of some leaders in the field of social marketing and this is what I learned. This is No. 14 in the series (see the links below for other posts in the series).

Today: Amber Naslund, who is president and co-founder of SideraWorks, a consultancy specializing in social business transformation, and the co-author of the social business book The Now Revolution. She can be found on Twitter as @AmberCadabra:

Understanding "how marketing fits into an overall business picture," is critical, says Naslund.

"Too few marketers understand how the work they do affects the rest of the organization.

"Collaboration and communication are key, but as much inside the company as outside to customers," she says.

And Naslund has one particular request for college graduates:

"I really wish I saw more grads coming out of school with amazing writing skills," she says. "It's so important in business overall."

Asked "What separates a successful social marketer from the others?” Naslund ticks off a list of key skills:
  • Willingness to learn quickly (this stuff moves fast)
  • Ability to collaborate with others (this isn't a solo race, either)
  • Curiosity and a willingness to take smart risks in order to try something new and prove it
  • A strong grasp of analytics and the ability to audit and adapt your efforts accordingly
And how important is social marketing as part of the marketing mix?

"If we're just talking marketing, I think it's pretty important, but it's not everything," Naslund says.

"The tools will always change," she adds.

"What's most important is to understand the motivations behind social media's rise – open communication, speed, adaptability, personal connection – and keep those at the center of your efforts no matter what platform gets the spotlight tomorrow.

"Marketing should be about building stronger ties between your customers and your products and services," Naslund says. "The tenets of social are good ones to adopt for doing that well, period, regardless of whether Twitter is still here tomorrow."

So, what do you think? How important will social marketing be in the future and what MUST graduating students know?

Previous posts:
10 Experts Weigh In On Social Marketing
Social Marketing: Understand the fundamentals, says Suzanne Vara of Kherize5
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: Make communication 'special,' says Eric Miltsch of DrivingSales


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