Social Media Marketing: The People Revolution

[Editor’s note: This post is our continued dissemination of content from this week’s SearchEngineStrategies San Jose search marketing conference, where AIMCLEAR had 3 correspondents providing our readers notes and articles. The following is from our friend and blogger-associate, Todd Mintz:]

With social media marketing, people are part of the marketing process once again. This SES San Jose 2008 session explained the history of SMO (social media marketing) and how savvy pros use this new reality to promote their brands and products.

Moderator Pauline Ores is the Senior Marketing Manager, Social Media Engagement, for IBM Corporation. Room a little less crowded than I thought it would be…are people still recovering from the Google Dance? The first speaker, Vanina Delobelle, is Global Product Director for Monster Worldwide in charge of social media and UGC products.

She started her presentation by giving examples of social media (which include Virtual Universes, Social Networks, Forums, Microblogging, Multimedia Sharing, Diggs & Blogs and Livecasts). All these tools belong to the users—therefore the aim of a marketer entering social media channels is to command user attention.

Why use social media? Vanina offered the following answers:

  • Connect with people (reach the people where they are in the way they are used to);
  • Keep Brand (Keep brand awareness to relay offline marketing campaigns);
  • Generate More Traffic,
  • Enlarge the targeted segment
  • Increase the User Experience
  • Leverage current marketing results,
  • Get better brand awareness,
  • Get better brand management,
  • Get better user stickiness,
  • Get better quality product &
  • Get more sales.

She the offered the following requirements for social media success:

  • Global Means Local (Because we deal with communities, we need to be close to them);
  • Resources (Community Managers need to get more focus);
  • Consistency (The effort should start and last);
  • Content (Content should get more focus).

The next speaker, Erik Qualman, is the global VP of online marketing for EF Education, the world’s largest private educator. He started with a Facebook case study involving his company. They developed a Facebook App called Global Footprint (where have you traveled in your life). They treated as a direct response mechanism and asked for too much information from people.

A competing App didn’t do this and eclipsed their efforts. Then, his company created a social community and nobody came to use it. The lesson he learned was that sometimes, you shouldn’t build an app and instead, you should just leverage existing social communities. EF needed to figure out what their users needed and only EF could provide

The final speaker, Brent Csutoras is a seasoned Internet marketing consultant who primarily specializes in social media, viral, and search engine marketing strategies.

Brent defined Social Media Marketing as a vehicle to get ranking / links by pushing your content into the various social media communities. He acknowledged that generating inbound links is extremely important and also difficult to achieve and he sees social media as a great way to get links. The aim of the marketer is to find a community that’s viable with your content. Then, the marketer needs to engage with the community with the end game of acquiring votes.

Huge numbers of people are continually looking for content and the objective is to get your content in front of these folks. You will get the community links (in the short term) which will boost your rankings and show you as the authority of the topic. Then, you also get excellent direct targeting from bigger websites that discover your site via your social media efforts. This whole process is very natural and organic.

Brent than offered the following basic tips:

  • Have a site that is social media friendly;
  • Pick communities that you relate to;
  • Check what worked before;
  • Create high quality content;
  • Understand how to submit and push social campaigns;
  • Understand what to do with success.

Q&A Highlights:
Brent: Social isn’t something you do as one of your 10 daily tasks. Also, you can’t be a direct marketer in social media…people will see through that.

Eric: Make sure search is considered in the social media effort.

Todd Mintz is the Director of Internet Marketing & Information Systems for S.R. Clarke Inc., a Real Estate Development and Residential / Commercial Construction Executive Search / Recruiting Firm headquartered in Fairfax, VA with offices nationwide.

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