PAY NO ATTENTION TO THAT MAN BEHIND THE SOCIAL MEDIA CURTAIN

By Scott Levine, VP, Strategy

Pay No Attention to That Man Behind the Social Media CurtainSocial media “wizards” of most marketing companies operate in very mysterious ways. What is all that hocus pocus involving Tweets, wall posts, blogs, group discussions, friends and followers? What is all that Yelp-ing all about? It used to be that four squared was 16, but now it is a location-based social network. (Four Square) If you are an executive, do you need to pay attention to all of this, or do you need to hire your own social media wizard so that he or she can converse in this strange social media language with the other wizards?

Social media has snowballed into the hippest new medium with which to engage your audience. While the “pull marketing” of social media is very different from the “push marketing” of interruption-based marketing, the goal of the marketer is essentially the same. The message needs to be delivered to the target. How that message is constructed, packaged and transported is very different indeed within the realm of social media. Administrative executives and everyone else, for that matter, need to pay close attention to the phenomenon that has become social media.

“People can be divided into three groups: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened.” That famous quote from Nicholas Murray Butle is extremely apropos when it is applied to social media. The people that are watching social media happen are the “observers” or the “lurkers,” people who read Twitter streams, read some blog posts, and read some Facebook pages; the people that make things happen are considered the “influencers” of social media; the people that wonder what happen are everyone else. That third group of people is becoming smaller and smaller, as the importance of engaging people through social media becomes a more popular and necessary element of any successful marketing campaign.

Where can you reach your audience?” The answer has become apparent to savvy marketers. Social networks are where you will find your audience. Marketing to that audience within the social network are very different marketing than what most are familiar with. Knowing how to reach the audience effectively is still the sixty-four-thousand-dollar question.

How can you know which social media network is best for your purpose? How can you determine where your efforts will be rewarded with positive feedback and sentiment? What strategies regarding the content of your message will be implemented? These are all valid concerns, and while there is no easy one-size-fits-all answer, there is a coherent, correct, best practice to address these issues. Hire a professional agency proficient in social media marketing, or appoint or train someone within your company to handle these important social media duties, or do both.

Social media marketing has become a complex marketing discipline with a host of new specialists that can create a social media environment that engages your audience without alienating them. There are many instances where a social media marketing campaign has been specifically devised to be the “companion” marketing piece to a larger marketing initiative, as we have had many instances to create these types of programs for our clients as an “enhancement” of the larger marketing program we have constructed.

Pay close attention to your social media “wizards” and even closer attention to the conversations that your customers are having on social media networks. The social media wizard is a whiz of a wiz, if ever a wiz there was; the social media wiz is one because of the wonderful things he does.

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