For some reason, we Generation Y-ers and Millenials tend to have this idea that since we’re good at using social media, we’re good at social media marketing (which I will heretofore refer to as “SMM” because the full term is just too darn long!). After all, SMM is really just making friends on Facebook and telling them about what the company does, right?
I wish I had a Taboo buzzer, because I would buzz that buzzer as loud as I could right now. Maybe this picture will do the trick.
This concept of social media as a “natural” marketing tool is what has gotten marketers into the trouble that we are in today.
Marketing through social media takes as much work as marketing through any other traditional or digital channel (or maybe more). If we want to make SMM actually generate revenue for our clients, we have to create a series of guidelines for each campaign:
Social Media Policies to guide the types of content that we post, language that we use/don’t use, sharing standards, etc.
Social Strategy to dictate what we post, where we post, when we post, and how we post. Should we use coupons, giveaways, or any other promotions to generate buzz? How do we stimulate conversation with/among our followers? etc.
Social Monitoring/Reporting to show how effective our past efforts have been. If we don’t know how successful our past efforts have been, it is incredibly difficult (read: nearly impossible) to become more effective moving forward. It’s easy to look at number of followers/likes and assume that it’s a good indication of our effectiveness, but true effectiveness must center on how much revenue we’ve generated from those followers.
There are tons of other things that I could add to this list, but I’m about to get kicked out of the coffee shop, so I’m going to wrap it up here.
In short, SMM takes work. Building a brand presence is much different than being an expert “user” of social media. So before you declare yourself a SMM expert, you’d better have actually done SMM.