The Social Media Professionals Series is an informational and educational collection of reports on the sub-specialties of the Social Media vocation. Each weekly article is dedicated to a different aspect of the occupation, and features an associated thought-leader.
Concentration – Marketing
Professional – Suzanne Vara
Few pursuits in Social Media can rival that of marketing; it is the mainstay of the field. Wikipedia describes it as, “a recent addition to organizations’ integrated marketing communications plans. Integrated marketing communications is a practice organizations follow to connect with their target markets. Integrated marketing communications coordinates promotional elements: advertising, personal selling, public relations, publicity, direct marketing and sales promotion.” Scott Monty, author of The Social Media Marketing Blog, refers to SMM as “the convergence of marketing, advertising and PR on the Web.” The subject is well documented; a Google search for Social Media Marketing reveals 136 million results.
This week, Suzanne Vara, with the Kherize5 Advertising & Small Business Social Media Marketing Agency, joins us to discuss marketing in Social Media.
GSM – How do you best define your practice in Social Media? What specifically do you do that is different, unique, and special in this wide ranging field?
Suzanne – We are an advertising and marketing agency for small businesses. We work with clients who need assistance with their local traditional advertising as well as their social media efforts. We bridge the gap between traditional means with the digital age.
GSM – What do you consider the most currently pressing issue you are faced with in your everyday duties?
Suzanne – The most pressing issue right now for small businesses is to remain competitive in the marketplace. This is not only limited to sales, as the proper team needs to be assembled in order to provide the best customer experience. Each and every department has an effect upon the customer experience whether they are in contact with them or not. The pool of talent is plentiful now with unemployment continuing to rise, but the right person that fits within the corporate culture needs to be found and trained appropriately.
The competitiveness within the marketplace is very broad, as we know that a brand is continuously vying for the attention of their customers and new customers. They have to keep a close eye on the competitor to ensure that they are differentiating themselves and seeing how the competitor is differentiating themselves. It is a part of the listening. Many want to engage when listening is just as important.
GSM – What advice would you offer to others active in your field of interest or in Social Media generally?
Suzanne – Social media is a form of advertising. Each and every blog post, tweet, comment, email, status update, is a means of putting your company out there. Understanding how the entire process works and having systems and policies in place is essential to achieve the goals that are created.
Social media, despite being a form of advertising, is not always measurable the way that people would like. We need to not focus on the ROI, but set attainable goals, evaluating and analyzing if they were met, and why or why not. Treating social media as an extension of traditional advertising is going to lead to failure. The share of voice, the brand mentions, the customer service, and the ability to be there before the sale is what needs to be embraced in social media, not the return on the investment.
Grannelle’s Social Media would like to thank Suzanne for taking time out of her very busy schedule to participate in The Social Media Professionals Series and sharing her thoughts on marketing in Social Media.