Getting different perspectives from two of the most well-versed practitioners in social media marketing gave us a unique encounter of what social media has to offer to businesses.
From Tash’s point of view social media marketing is a global tool and strategy to help businesses connect with the rest of the world, with Nancy adding that it gives them a better understanding of how their customers behave.
For this article, let’s take a look at how a young social media manager, traveller, and food blogger Kareen Satorre, personally views social media marketing.
Kareen is a Psychology major in one of the universities based in Cebu, Philippines. She may have studied a field different from that of marketing and information technology but she surely has a considerable experience in dealing with clients and getting them to adopt online marketing in their operations.
This article will be slightly different from how the other social media managers answered the questions. Kareen will talk about her experiences and personal encounters in social media marketing.
1. So Kareen, what is social media marketing?
Kareen: It is a new way of marketing using social media platforms. You interact or engage with people who may want to know your product or service.
2. How does it differ from traditional marketing?
Kareen: It differs because you are literally using social media platforms to market the product/service, at the same time, engaging with your prospects and understanding what your customers need. Unlike traditional marketing, where you run TV commercials, radio advertisement, or do print ads to sell the product.
3. How effective it is compared to other mediums?
Kareen: It is effective because people are spending more on social media and the Internet. I personally rely on Google and my friends’ statuses on Facebook, Twitter and even on foursquare check-ins when looking for a new product or a place to dine. For example, I saw my Facebook friend post a status that they are having lunch at this particular restaurant. I became curious, as the place is new to me and searched for the establishment online. Because of social media, I was able to find out that there is a hole-in the-wall establishment in my hometown that serves sizzling food palate for only P55 that already includes glass of iced tea.
4. What edge does social marketing have?
Kareen: For me, it is the ability to communicate directly with your target audience. Take for example the telecommunications companies, aside from TV advertisements, they use social media to market their service. They run promotions through Twitter or Facebook and receive thousands of entries in less than 24 hours since they were announced.
5. What is the biggest challenge social media marketers face?
Kareen: The biggest challenge for me is how I can keep my customers engaged without annoying them. Although there are many factors that would drive customers away, mishandled social media marketing is one big problem. After all, I am also a customer at the end of the day.
6. For one to be a social media marketer, is it really necessary to have a marketing degree in college?
Kareen: No, it is not necessary. I myself do not have a marketing background. I learned all these through research and observation.
7. What are the skills required to be a social media marketer?
Kareen: Creative, sociable, and passionate. You must be creative in convincing customers to try the product/service. You need to catch your customers’ attention, and let them click that link or read your status message. From there, the engagement will take place which will then convert to sales.Sociable, because social media marketing is about engagement. You will talk to your customers. If you’re not a sociable type, then the job is not for you. You also need to be passionate about what you are doing because you have to understand your customers. You have to put yourself in their shoes and convince yourself why you should try it too. You need to think that the brand that you are trying to market is your own product that you need to generate sales and income.
8. With tons of information available in the internet and some of them popping out in a user’s screen at any time of the day, how does a social marketer make his product/service stand out?
Kareen: Having a great content, well planned social media campaign and customer understanding .
Content is the key as you need to create “shareworthy” statuses. A well planned social media campaign, which includes online promotions or contest that you can run through Facebook or Twitter and understanding your customer are keys to stand out. Before you can come up with great content and well planned social campaigns, you have to understand your customers. What is it they like? What type of promotions would work for them? What type of content would spark interest and make them share it on their walls?
9. But let’s say I own a business and want to adopt social media marketing in my operations, do I really need to hire an expert social media marketer to do the job for me? Or I can just simply learn the techniques on my own and apply it to my business?
Kareen: For me, it is both. You need to learn the techniques so that both of you and your (hired) social media marketer can share ideas in order to come up with a successful social media marketing plans. Though these social media techniques can be learned with a few clicks of your mouse, you also have to take note that it takes approximately 32 hours in a week for a social media marketer to handle just one social media account. It takes a lot of hard work, research, and requires constant monitoring. You cannot just simply share things that you found online and post it on your wall. As I have mentioned earlier, content is one of the things that affects the success of your social media marketing.
Can you afford to allocate 32 hours per week for handling Facebook alone? What about the other factors that requires your attention? Aren’t you going to be burned out by the end of the day if you do all the job? Like in any other businesses, there is a marketing team that would focus on the marketing aspects of the business making sure that the product or service is profitable by the end of the day.
10. What is in store for social media marketing? How do you foresee its future?
Kareen: Social media marketing will be more customer-centered than ever. Customers are free to rant or post appreciative messages on their social channels every time they get the best or worst service from you.
Today’s featured social media manager presented us with the challenges of social media marketing, especially for business owners who are looking at it with a one-man perspective. Kareen said that handling social media for marketing purposes is a time-consuming job, and that, not trusting the job to the experts can be detrimental.
Another revelation that she shared with us is the concept of “customer-centric marketing” as the future of social media marketing. Since customers now do have the convenience and accessibility to speak out what they want and how they feel, marketers who are handling corporate accounts should make sure they are using social media to maximize its postulated benefits and not its opposite.
In our next post, we will be again telling you what social media marketing is but from the point of view of another social media manager. We hope this write up will encourage you to enter the world of online marketing and will inspire you to take the challenging yet fun world of the online arena.