9 Social Media Lessons from 9 Social Media Gurus

Social Media Face-Off at DMA:2010

Nine social media gurus took center stage at DMA:2010 to shed light on the topic for direct marketers. Social media participants included David Berkowitz of 360i, Chris Cunningham of Appssavvy, Michael Friedman of Darden Restaurants, Jeff Hillmire of Engauge, Sloane Kelley of BFG Communications, David Marsey of Digitas, Avi Savar of Big Fuel, Vivek Sodera of Rapleaf and Brian Solis, author of Engage.

For an audience of direct marketers focused on closing and tracking sales, social media requires some adjustment since social media’s strength is in expanding audience and being present at the point of need initiation. Here are nine take-aways from the DMA:2010’s Social Media Face-Off.

  1. What makes social media unique? Social media is about people having conversations, not brands, corporate objectives or reach. Just as you’d bring bottle of wine to a party, you need to bring value to social media interactions.  For promotion-driven marketers, expand your content offering to provide additional information and support product usage.
  2. What’s your objective for using social media and how does it relate to current environment? To navigate social media, consider what people are doing now, who you want to talk to, and what do you want to say?
  3. Where do most brands fail in social media? Brands and companies may have a social media presence but lack responsiveness to consumers. Therefore, be present and listen. Social media requires solid, on-going engagement with coordinated efforts. One important area to accomplish this is customer service.
  4. How will people relate to your brand in social media environments? A brand must understand who it is as a social entity and what its social identity is. [Note: This may differ from other media environments.]
  5. Do you make social media a call-to-emotion for your influencers or brand loyal passionistas? If not, build your community around passion points. Social media allows for interaction and engagement that you can’t get elsewhere that can add another dimension to your brand.
  6. Does your firm only focus on whom you’re connected to for social media activity? If so, think about who you’re not connected to. How do these segments relate to your target audience?  Social media provides an unfocused focus group.
  7. While many marketers aspire to influence their core fans in social media, what do you do to sway the major part of your audience, the lurkers? Since only a small proportion of the public is social, how do you find the right party (i.e.- appropriate groups) for your products so that your firm can walk in with the cool kid?
  8. Where’s social media’s power for direct marketers? Social media is extremely powerful in terms of attracting and engaging new prospects to build relationships.
  9. How’s social media integrated into your organization? It should apply holistically across your entire company rather than be pigeonholed or isolated in one function or person. [Note: Check out Do You Need To Hire a Social Media Manager and 7 Ways To Use Social Media Beyond Conventional Marketing.]

While this panel was targeted at direct marketers, these nine questions will help you think through what’ll be most effective for your offering when integrating social media into your marketing mix. Remember, that it’s a good idea to have clear focus on your company’s objectives when using social media. Understand that you’ll to adjust your tactics based on trial and error to adapt to what’s working for your firm.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen


Photo by Heidi Cohen

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