Today sees the launch of my new website www.marccampman.com. The site is about taking my thoughts and experiences about Social Marketing to the next level. In my 25 years as a marketing professional, this is the biggest change in marketing I have seen. Marketing is no longer about getting your message out to your target market via mass media channels like advertising or direct mail. Marketing is no longer about optimising the search engine effectiveness of your web site so you are top of the search results. Today, Social Media Marketing, or Social Marketing as I call it, adds a whole new dimension to the marketing mix. As Wikipedia puts it:
“the growth of social media has impacted the way organizations communicate. With the emergence of Web 2.0, the internet provides a set of tools that allow people to build social and business connections, share information and collaborate on projects online. Social media marketing programs usually center on efforts to create content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share it with their social networks. A corporate message spreads from user to user and presumably resonates because it is coming from a trusted source, as opposed to the brand or company itself.”
In other words, Social Marketing captures the essence of human behaviour: people want to learn, to share and to make things better. As an organisation you can only be successful in Social Marketing if you help your connected communities (your customers, your employees, your agents etc.) with this. Help them to learn, help them to share and ultimately, make their lives better, using your products or services. I summarised these 3 basic human behaviours in my 3 golden rules of Social Marketing:
Rule 1: Learn from your customers by listening to them. This is probably one of the most radical changes in the marketing mix. You no longer have to commission expensive research projects to find out what your customers think, how they act and what they need. Social Media offers you the easiest and cheapest way to find out what they think and need by simply checking what they say on social networks like Twitter or Facebook. But more important than that: Social Media gives you an ongoing snapshot of the buzz in your communities.
Rule 2: Share useful content. Once you understand what’s going on, what your customers are talking about and where they are “hanging out” you must participate in their conservations. Not by selling, but by being authentic and by adding value. And how do you add value? By sharing useful information with them and enable them to share that content themselves. Social Media networks are perfect for this. Use community networks for connecting with your customers and rich media networks like Slideshare and Youtube for sharing content with them. Most social media tools are connected with each other which makes the sharing very simple.
Rule 3: Contribute to make things better. People want to feel that their personal situation is getting better, or that they feel the world around them is getting better. This is the greater cause of social media. It allows people to get better, it allows communities to get better, it allows the world to get better. The greater the impact on the world, the greater the impact of your social media activities. Look at how social media impacted the BP oil disaster earlier this year or how Obama used social media to be elected as president of the United States.
If you follow these 3 golden rules, you’re on your way to a successful social marketing implementation. And if you need more ideas or advise on how to go about developing and implementing your own social media strategy, keep on checking this blog. I am sure you will find plenty of useful articles, tips and tools on this site.