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So Should You Use Your Team For Social Marketing?


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This document will help you decide on who, in your internal team can be recruited for Social Marketing.

It also provides help on how to choose an external agency to help you with Social Marketing.

Published in: Business, News & Politics
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So Should You Use Your Team For Social Marketing?

  1. 1. 2009 So should you use your team for Social Marketing? How to make a decision There are a lot of people online these days, and a lot more are joining in. Those who were already online have started realizing the benefits of being connected. Business is already being generated online through different tools, and Social Marketing is the new buzzword. But how can you get on the bandwagon? And will it help or hurt your business? YS Sridutt i-Vista Digital Solutions Pvt. Ltd 10/1/2009
  2. 2. SO SHOULD YOU USE YOU TEAM FOR SOCIAL MARKETING? YOUR INTRODUCTION There are a lot of people online these days, and a lot more are joining in. Those who were already online have started realizing the benefits of being connected. Business is already being generated online through different tools, and Social Marketing is the new buzzword. Social marketing has a lot of potential, provided your evangelists have some basic knowledge of your business. You may have also seen other organizations get substantial g gains from Social Marketing. You may even have potential evangelists already on your team and you and your team members might also be very prolific users of the internet ou internet. You might now be thinking of enrolling them as your Social Marketing team – since they already know so much y about the business, and are already online. Before you decide on your team, there are some essential questions that usiness, online. you may need to consider: • Does everyone who is online from your team view the internet from the same perspective of generating business? Or derive the same benefit? ? • Are they even doing the right things online? • Can you use them in your marketing efforts? Would they agree to use their personal network profiles for your organization? • Will it work? WHAT IS IT THAT ENROLLED PEOPLE FROM YOUR T D TEAM CAN DO FOR YOU? They can be evangelists for your organization but you may need to bear in mind and monitor: organization, • What is it that they are saying on your behalf? • How is it being portrayed? • Are their interactions objective or emotional? Are they arguing on your behalf, or clearly stating why they Are think your organization is good at what it does? • How often is exchange of information and influence in decisions evident? Moreover, not everyone may have the same type of profile or update history. To know how they would be able to contribute on Social networks, you may have to check their profile – what they’ve written about where they work and how it is expressed. You may also need to categorize them into different internet and network user types. SO HOW CAN YOU GROUP THEM INTO CATEGORIES? NTO Forrester has a rather interesting article out, about the roles people play in social media. They have defined six categories, and outlined their general characteristics These are: characteristics. Those who create Those who Those who read Those who do being readers, they ones who are Creators Critics Collectors Joiners Spectators Inactive and upload content comment, help in more rather than participate online, read/listen/watch hardly bothered like blogs, videos, editing a created actively create or but are not active – everything about the internet music, articles etc. post, post ratings review content, as in they have a They may have an and what it is etc. add tags etc. for profile, and visit online presence existing content sites, but not much too, but may not more be very active in maintaining it
  3. 3. Understandably, it’s creators with who have the largest spheres of influence. But, you may need a combination of creators, critics and collectors to be successful in your endeavors in Social Marketing. DO YOU HAVE ENOUGH OF CREATORS, CRITICS AND COLLECTORS IN YOUR TEAM? You can evaluate you team by answering the questions below on their online presence: • Where are their profiles? o Which networks do they have profiles on? Is it the right network to do business on? o How are these networks oriented? Personal or professional? o How many people are they connected to (sphere of influence)? o Are they good at forging online relationships? o What’s the profile of their audience/connections? o Is there business to be gained from their connections? o Are there enough high level connections from your targeted companies/industries? o If they are not on networks where business can be gained, how else can their help benefit you? For marketing? Can it be used for creating a buzz about what you do – without any business gains? • What have they posted normally? o Social and professional updates? o Professional updates? o Social updates? • Would a perceptible change in what they normally post cause any negative fall-out? • Do you have enough creators, critics and collectors in your team? It is essential to enroll people who have normally posted Professional and Social information, so that there is no perceptible shift in their pattern of updates. Any perceptible shift leads more to negative publicity as people may get annoyed with constant updates on your organization. If suitable team members exist, you should look at getting them onboard with your endeavor. But if your team does not have the required mix of profiles, you should hire an external agency help to get onto social networks. WHY CHOOSE AN EXTERNAL AGENCY AT ALL.. Not everyone who might be online from your team may be on the right forum. Also, not everyone may be saying things that lead to business or recognition. Yes, your team maybe providing snippets on your organization, but unless it is frequent enough, and stated the right way you may face a negative fall-out by enrolling them. Networks are basically people connected to people. Even if you, as an individual, say something that is different from what you normally say on a network, your connections may not pay attention. If you change your pattern of updates entirely, any possible opportunity may be lost as your connections will learn to ignore your updates. Successful Social Network marketing needs a combination of personal, professional and individual contributions to meaningful discussions, in the right manner. Also, the contributions should not differ greatly from what the evangelist says normally. Bear in mind that: • Any shift from normal is very evident to everyone in the circle of influence • Subtlety is required, not outright marketing – it’s pulling people into discussions, not forcing opinions on them Unless your team is capable of being subtle enough in their interactions, your social marketing may fail. Most agencies that offer Social Network marketing and WOM buzz creation have people with long existing profiles who can provide the right publicity. If you choose the right agency, you can benefit greatly from their online presence. Think of it as a recommendation you ask from your clients on your professional profile.
  4. 4. HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT EXTERNAL AGENCY The answer to this can be found by doing the following: Step I - Look at the networks which you aim to do your Social Marketing on Step II – Examine the agencies present on such networks Step III –Evaluate their presence on such networks • What is the number of their employees present on such networks? • Evaluate the employees and their updates o What do their profile pages say about them? o What are their professional qualifications? o What has their participation in discussions been like? o What are they saying on such networks in discussions and updates? o How often do they participate online? • What they are stating about their existing clients and how they are being introduced into discussions o How are their clients positioned in discussions and contributions? o Are they making enough contributions to ensure their clients are mentioned frequently enough? Are these mentions making sense – or is the client introduced in a conversation where there is no scope or relevance of his mention benefiting him? • How can you group them in terms of creators, critics and collectors? o Dos the agency have enough employees in all the three categories? Step IV – Who are their clients? What do their clients have to say about them? Once you answer the questions above, you will be able to decide on which agency you’d like to entrust your Social Marketing to. SUMMARY Social marketing is a powerful tool that can provide results. However, the implementation of the whole campaign and the underlying strategy are very important. Also, equally important are your evangelists. With Social Networks being connections between people, unless the right approach is used, your campaign stands a chance of failing to provide results.