What are the most important social media marketing skills that graduating college students need to understand?
Today: Tamara Littleton, who's the founder and CEO of eModeration, a social media management agency with offices in London, New York and Los Angeles. She has extensive experience in community management, social media, crisis management and child safety, and is a member of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS). She can be found on Twitter as: @tlittleton
"Create a personality for your company on social media that resonates with your audiences," says Littleton.
"I think some marketers are afraid of showing a human side when they approach social media and that’s a big mistake," she says. "No-one wants to talk to an anonymous logo."
It’s possible to build loyalty through interacting with customers, deliver great customer service and to use tools like Facebook apps to collect customer data that can be fed through to customer relationship.
"Using social media it’s possible to listen to what customers like and deliver it (and what they don’t like, and fix it)," Littleton says.
"Social media is becoming less of a shiny new thing that brands want, and more of a data-driven insight and sales channel," she says.
So, what skills must students master?
"Be social," Littleton says. "You have to be interested in listening to and talking to people (rather than just broadcasting to them)."
She continues: "You also need to be able to write well, stay calm under pressure, think creatively and understand your audience. It helps to be interested in the subject you’re marketing and to have a reasonably thick skin to withstand criticism."
A successful social marketer looks beyond follower numbers to see what social media can do for the business, Littleton says.
"A good place to start is to use social media to listen to what customers want and then develop it.
"An objective for social media isn't 'get one million likes', it’s 'contribute 20 percent to sales.' "
Social marketing is extremely important to the overall marketing effort, says Littleton.
"When companies started using Facebook and Twitter, they were really focusing on follower or fan numbers," she says. "But we’re starting to see that social media can have an impact on new sales, increased order value or customer loyalty."
So, what do you think? How important is social marketing in the future of marketing and what MUST graduating students know?
10 Experts Weigh In On Social Marketing
10 More Experts Weigh In On Social Marketing
Social Marketing: Don’t focus too heavily on technology, says author David Amerland
Social Marketing: Its 'part of a nutritious breakfast,' says Christopher Penn of WhatCounts
Social Marketing: Make music to an audience’s ears, says Mahei Foliaki (@Iconic88)
Social Marketing: Clearly connect business objectives, says author Aaron Strout