Social Media Marketers: Will they stay or will they go now?

I’m BACK!

Sorry for the blog hiatus, as I was working on a few different projects and wanted to concentrate on the growth of those. Since my last post I also moved out on my own, and learned to be much more inspired to work harder. Naturally I become inspired and motivated by social media related growth, but then I question this growth as well? Is social media, and especially social media jobs, a fad?

Recently I went on a good two week streak of job searching, resulting in nothing more than a few good contacts and one great lead. I focused on two areas, one being social media and one being hospitality. I would love to be able to focus strongly on social media, and I try to do this, but in the back of my head I keep thinking, will these jobs last? Hence why I keep hospitality in mind as well, everyone is going to need a hotel!Image

Marketing itself has been around for a donkeys age, with Gutenberg and the printing press making mass media more accessible. Businesses saw they could get their name out, and since then it hasn’t stopped growing. Many different versions of marketing are out there, and social media is the most recent. The difference between social media and what the professionals call “traditional” mediums, is that social media is much more accessible to the general public. Almost everyone has access to Facebook or Twitter, and therefore could take part in social media marketing. Not everyone has access to traditional forms of marketing like radio, television or print advertisements.  Herein lies my confusion as to if social media marketing as a profession, will last. I of course wouldn’t write a blog on social media unless I believed that it will last. I tend to second guess it every once in a while though, but in the long run, social media marketing is just another form of marketing.

Admen have talents in certain areas, and social media marketers have a talent to market in a certain way. Marketing and social media have to work seamlessly in order to have the most impact, and the social media marketer does this. Social media loses its appeal when marketing becomes to apparent, and selling takes precedence over the act of being social. Therefore, some people have the special talent of creating campaigns and ads that are directly social media related, where engaging the audience, in turn, creates a buzz about a product or company. This is different than the graphic artist or ad exec that has a talent for words and can create a slogan for a car commercial. Social media engages audiences while most marketing speaks to the audience, and each involves a different talent. Therefore, social media marketing I believe is a talent that some do have, and a profession that I believe will continue to grow!

 

I hope….

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Your social media content has an expiry date

As mentioned before, I provide all the social media content for the hotel chain I work for. From Facebook posts to Instagram pictures to Twitter updates. Recently I’ve thought of an idea to create a social media campaign based around a hashtag. This is not a foreign concept to me or anyone familier with social media marketing techniques. I’m finding the hardest part is that I have to find the right type of content for each of the different media channels. I believe that each channel provides a certain type of update.

Instagram is for the visually stimulated consumer, Twitter is for quick snipits of information, and Facebook page posts are more in-depth.

Many social media marketers will create a campaign, and in order to grow the reach they will post the same info on all the different channels. This in theory makes sense, you will reach the most people with one message, but I don’t believe it is the most effective use of the outlets. This to me is the lazy way out. One piece of content is created and shared on all channels, such as a instagram photo that’s shared to both Twitter and Facebook. This photo has now been shown on three different channels but providing the same message on all three. It’s what I call “stale content”, there’s nothing “fresh” about the message.Image

The problem I see when this happens is that you’re not giving your audience a reason to follow you on each individual media channel. Instead users will say “I get all updates through Facebook, I don’t need to see the same thing on Twitter!” Boom! You’ve lost followers, a sad thing for any marketer trying to grow a campaigns reach. Your campaign has gone stale like a mouldy piece of cheese, and not the good stuff.

The solution? Simple, create content that suits each media outlet. Don’t share a Facebook post on Twitter, instead say separate things on each channel, but tie them in with a #hashtag. That way people will gain more information but they will understand it’s still connected. Your audience will also become more involved in other aspects of your media outlets, because they know different information regarding the same topic is available, and they’re getting a fresh prespective!

I’m in the planning process right now of starting a full on social media campaign for the hotels, and I’m organizing my updates and pictures and segmenting them into certain outlets. It’s important that the information your sharing is suitable for the outlet you will be using. For example, don’t share in-depth details on a contest through Twitter, as 140 characters isn’t enough and will get people confused. Instead share the in-depth details on Facebook or your website where there’s more of a forum for that information. On Twitter you could announce your grand prize, a quick update to gain attention, and provide a link that will provide more information. This way the consumer will get hooked from the quick update and want to learn more, and then they’ll be directed on where they can find out more. You are also drawing in potential followers to new media outlets as well.

ImageThe overall idea is to have content that drives the consumer to learn more and participate and eventually drive up reach and the sales of the company. Fresh content that is suitable for each individual media channel is a key factor in creating a successful social media marketing campaign.

“Strategize not apologize”- Making your Social Media investments succesful

Social Media is now relevant in almost all businesses, it’s becoming an integral part of a companies overall business plan. It is important though in this time of change, where everyone is getting on the Social Media bandwagon, to have a strategy!  Anyone can create a twitter account, follow people and businesses that are similar and create a small following for themselves. The hard part is making sure that account, as well as others (you can’t just be part of one social outlet), fits in with your overall business plan. You must:

                                            “Strategize not Apologize!”Marketing business sales

This phrase is important for any company, because you have to create a plan for your new avenues of marketing and public relations that fit with the rest of your business plan. In other words, your Twitter and Facebook pages can’t be an after thought, instead they have to be an integral part of your business. Why you ask? Good question!

When social media becomes an after thought for your business, it has a different voice and a different feel than the rest of the business. It won’t work smoothly with your marketing campaigns because the two weren’t created at the same time. Your company Facebook page and Twitter feed will just re-iterate what your other channels already are presenting. New information meant specifically for those channels won’t be available, and your customers won’t be engaged.

A poor social media presence can also be confusing to customers. The consumer is turning more and more to social media in order to answer simple questions, and if all parties in your company are not on the same wave length, customers may receive mixed messages. This in turn will get them annoyed and you will end up looking unorganized, a big no-no in any successful company!

Below are two great examples of companies, one with a successful social media strategy, and one that seems to be an after thought!

Nike during the 2012 Summer Olympics, created the #makeitcount hashtag, and showed 11 Nike athletes and how they pushedImage their personal boundaries. They had billboards around the city with the “make it count” hashtag, a true sign that all outlets are involved in the making of a marketing plan. The whole company was behind the idea, and all marketing avenues presented the message in varying ways. The best way they showed this was by using a #hashtag, therefore consumers could easily track all parts of the campaign with one simple slogan! They created engagement as well, by allowing others to tweet or post about how they #makeitcount. It was a very successful campaign overall, especially when Adidas was actually the official Olympics sponsor!

An example, one of many, of how companies who are trying to piggy back on trending topics, is Kmart. Shortly after the Newtown shootings in Conneticut, Kmart issued a tweet paying respects to the families. A nice form of sentiment, but then they added a promImageotional hashtag about toys! Not a good form of business, and it seems little thought was put into this tweet. Yes a tweet is only 140 characters but it can have a huge impact! Also, piggy backing on a trending topic is ok, but not when its a national crisis with innocent children involved!

So remember, “Strategize not Apologize” and your company can succeed in all Social Media channels!