Monday, 16 November 2009

Social Media | Q&A

What are the most common mistakes brands make when it comes to social media?
Many Marketers suffer from the "me too" syndrome. If a competitor is doing something special, they feel the pressure to do the same -- even if it is out of sync with their brand or their customers. This pressure comes from the marketer's bosses, the social media specialists, the analysts, the advertising agencies and the media.  It is therefore extremely important to recognize that as a brand, you can only participate successfully when you have permission to do so with your customers (or have a way to create that permission). Along those lines, it's important to start with strategy and do something that makes sense for your brand, is in alignment with your business objectives and resonates with your customers.

What's the key difference between Social Media marketing online and via mobile?
Social media marketing can take place on any digital platform or device.   Digital is digital.  However, mobile as a specific platform has the added benefit of increasingly being location-aware.  This allows information to be served to the user with more relevance and context.  On the flip side, mobile platforms don't allow for experiences as rich as others, but it doesn't mean they still can't be immersive and incredibly social avenues.
 Bottom line is that you’ll need to start with a social strategy and then examine how it translates to different platforms and devices -- whether that be your company Web site, a platform like Facebook, or a device like an iPhone or Blackberry. 

Are Facebook and Twitter the only properties that really matter for social media marketing?
Absolutely not! Facebook and Twitter are both certainly the tip of the spear, but I've seen many companies have significant success with the other social platforms, their own community sites and even mobile-specific social solutions. It all depends on your specific business objectives, what your competitors are doing, where your customers are spending their time and how you want to differentiate yourself with what ideas. The blogosphere, for example, cannot be ignored. Bottom line though is that you’ll need to evaluate the various social platforms and select based upon those best positioned to help you achieve your business and marketing objectives.

Is "earned" media more important than paid media in the social realm?
Building authentic relationships that provide meaningful value exchanges with customers, (and especially those customers that influence others), is most important. That can happen in a variety of ways, whether through paid or earned media, or with those efforts working collaboratively. In the social realm, there's nothing better than true engagement between customers and brands.  That said, earned media is more important, although it is hard to always earn the attention, (and that's where paid and even owned media help jump start any engagement.)

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