I’ve been studying and analyzing social media marketing for a few months now and there’s a few things I’ve noticed. One of them is that many small businesses seem to not realize the difference between a “Social Media Expert” and a “Social Media Marketing Expert.” The keyword here is obviously “marketing.”
- Social Media Expert – Somebody who spends a lot of time on facebook or twitter.
- Social Media Marketing Expert – Somebody who can help a business promote itself using tools like facebook and twitter.
It’s great to see many businesses picking up on their social media marketing, but a lot of them are doing it poorly. Some are actually doing it so horribly, it’s probably hurting their brand image more than anything else.
The first step is realizing that just because somebody spends a lot of time on facebook does not make them a social media marketing expert. It starts with them not understanding marketing principles. They need to define: who is my target market? when are they seeing this message? what is the message we want to send?
It’s even important to think of the cultural implications and context of messages being spread through social media. For example, you can’t simply hire many people to repeatedly post about your product. Once it’s “obviously marketing”, and becomes even slightly annoying, it can devalue your brand. I’ve even had a conversation with a friend who decided against a product because they felt they were “harassed” on facebook by friends who were working for them.
Social Media Marketing is about harnessing the excitement of those who already love or are likely to love your brand. It doesn’t have to take too much time to implement, depending on the size of your brand. It’s more important that you’re talking to somebody who can make sure what your doing is right. If you do it right, your fans will do most of the work for you.
If you’re a small business owner, I suggest you get a chance to talk to a Social Media Marketing Expert. Somebody who understands business, marketing, and the social media marketing landscape. My suggestion is to email firstname.lastname@example.org with some questions about your social media marketing strategy.
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