What Are the Important Social Marketing Values?

social media marketingIt’s delightful that our favorite social media marketers are so giving. In the daily SEM social content stream we’re all each others’ playground friends, mentors, students, scientists, satirists, freaks and thought leaders.

There’s so much to learn from each other in various social channels, to stimulate and further advise content ideas. To me, the most important social marketing skill is a willingness to share unconditionally.

Today we posed the question: “What do you think the most important ‘values’ are for social marketing?” It was slightly loaded in that the word “values” means something different to everyone. Here are the answers from some of my favorite industry folks. I’ve linked to their Twitter profiles and highly recommend following their tweets.

@DazzlinDonna “The value of freely giving can never be underestimated”

@brianchappell “Flexibility” A successful social media marketing campaign requires a flexible mindset. Out with the old – in with the new.”

@msaleem The most important value to be derived from social media is simply is conversations and relationships with people

@leeodden “Values & SMM speaks to the ethics issues of transparency so I think a key value is honesty of intentions. SMM is a ‘give to get’ investment”

@kim_cre8pc “The biggest “value” is accepting that social media marketing isn’t an excuse to not have any values or integrity. As in any marketing, there’s an agreement between seller and consumer, writer and reader, community and participant. This agreement is, “Here is something I think you might like.” Nowhere does this agreement mean we have any right to force our products, actions, beliefs, links, writings, or services on anyone.

The crux of what is wrong with social media marketing is that early on, trust was broken. Claims against people and companies are easy to write and gullible people will believe anyone, without checking out their credentials. Without a clear mission based on class and integrity, I find social media marketing to be more like social media manipulation.

To answer your question, the most important values I can attribute to SMM are trust, honesty and the wisdom to let go after making any offering. It’s not “social” to control, manipulate and create conflict to sell anything.”

@lisabarone “Give more you than you take, be who you are and never stop being useful. The way to market yourself in social media is to support others. Social media marketing works on a karma scale. It’s not about you, it’s about promoting them. It’s about lifting them up and giving them a voice. And cool it with the fake avatars. :)”

@CarrieHill The most important SM Values are “to be real & genuine.” Fake & insincere = fast track to alienation of those you WANT to engage with.

@nerdgirlagogo The most important “values” Honesty and consistency – in that order. 🙂

@UtahSEOPro “Respect. If you aren’t genuinely respectful and appreciative of people in social media communities you’ll never be able to market you or your client’s products or services online. It’s very hard to promote content alone and strictly rely on the masses to eat it up without getting the ball rolling or seeding it with friends in social media.

Relationships are the most valuable thing a man can have. Karma really does come full-circle, in sometimes unexpected ways, when you are genuine to people.”

@ericlander I’d say that an honest and genuine approach is the most important element. One of the most troubling aspects of failed social media initiatives are carbon copy responses and disingenuous claims.

@Stuntdbl “4 Be’s – Be unique. Be real. Be friendly. Be fast.”

@streko @aimclear tell them all not to suck lamesauce and they will go far in life.” [You crack me up Michael]

@toddmintz “In an ideal world, social media is about community and inclusiveness where everybody treats each other with respect regardless of ideology or background and where each participant selflessly adds universal value and puts the aims and functionality of the group ahead of personal gain.”

@tamar “Social media marketing success can be achieved through consistent engagement, altruism, and building strong genuine relationships.”

@davesnyder My values begin and end with my client. I work on providing the best use of social media to meet their individual goals.We all get so consumed with the concept of what is ethical on a marketing channel too young to have really defined itself in terms of ethics. If I provide an amazing piece of content, that social media users find valuable, and it helps my client reach their goal of anchor rich link creation, then there is value to everyone involved.

There is an obvious point where things cross the line, but each marketer should be working within the scope of what their client feels is necessary for goal achievement. If I provide a client with a comprehensive online reputation strategy then I am by no means doing anything public relations firms haven’t done for years, only on a new shinny platform.

The biggest “value” to focus on in my opinion is not selling concepts you are not schooled in. Do not offer your services as a “social media guru,” if you do not understand how to comprehensively leverage social media for any client’s need. The game has drastically expanded beyond simple engagement, and if that is the foundation of your skill set you likely do not offer value in terms of client goal achievement.

@streko “Know how to quit when you’re ahead” Don’t try to keep pulling the same gimmick or using the same tactics

to engage your audience – be new, fresh and original or you’re going to end up being considered “played out”.

@steaprok “Exceptionalism(Unique) , Transparency(Honesty) and Reciprocity (Karma) are 3 vital values needed to succeed in short and long term SMM”

@davidmihm “In a word: awareness. Successful SMM’s should be aware of 1) content 2) the moods & interests of their audience 3) the network they’re using”

@jkrohrs “Most important values for social media success: sincerity, humanity, generosity, participation, relevance & responsiveness.”

@aimclear “Constant (If Not Fanatical) Participation By Multiple Team Members. You have to walk to walk in your own life, to keep track of your own friends and content.”

@bhartzer “Hmm, good question. I think one of the biggest values is protecting your brand. Remember that your brand also shows up in the search results.”

@beussery Happily, I’d say the most important social media value has to be one’s own “presentation” in the broadest sense.

@szetela “Give more than you expect to receive in return.”

@seosmarty Connections (this is by far the most important), more attention (traffic), word spreading (via links and other SM)…

Feed Power!

With New Year’s Eve looming, we can all look forward to a plethora of terrific “annual aggregation” blog posts and awards, which recap and recognize the best content our community had to offer this year past. The volume of amazing online marketing content proffered, is staggering in sheer depth and quality.

However, just as cool as daily articles in the numerous publications we monitor, are the transient daily conversations and content recommendations shared amongst our friends in social media channels like Twitter and FaceBook. These days a significant amount of content discovered stems from these priceless interactions. If you want to know anything about social marketing, friend the masters–and just ask. To me, the most important social marketing value is to share.

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