Digital Marketing

With Social Media, Everyone’s a Marketer

Everyone’s a marketer. I found myself saying this recently while meeting with a client who is the executive director of a local non-profit. They struggle with being one of the area’s “best kept secrets.” We were talking about educating the staff on social media marketing when I said, “Nowadays — everyone’s a marketer. And if they’re not, they need to be. The great thing about social media is that it makes this possible.”

Sounds good, right? But what does this really mean?

Who’s the Marketer?

New media is nothing if not disruptive. Google rank has replaced the dominance you once bought with a big Yellow Pages ad. Wikipedia has dealt the encyclopedia category a devastating blow. The average American spends 700 billion minutes on Facebook each month. Clearly, social media has forever altered human dynamics. As such we need to rethink how we go to market. Specifically, we need to get our heads around one of the biggest shifts — the fact that social media makes everyone a marketer. By everyone, I mean …

The Consumer As a Marketer

By sharing your products, services, content, and your brand with their network via social media, the modern consumer is a force to be reckoned with. More informed than their predecessors and armed with the tools to make or break your brand, we need to stop thinking of consumers as an audience to blast information at but rather as a community we cultivate around our brand. The good news is we’re not alone because …

All Customer-Facing Employees Are Marketers, Too

If you interact with customers — online or offline; before, during, or after the sale — you are a marketer now too. You are part of the brand experience. As the distance and knowledge gaps close between producer and consumer, our communications stratification collapses as well. We are all in marketing, sales, and customer service. Knocking down these barriers is good because …

Silos Hurt Marketing

We cannot continue to rely on the marketing person/people alone to be the only brand stewards. I am fond of saying when educating teams on social media that if you talk to customers offline you already have the essential skills for engaging customers online as well. Approach community building as a team. Sure, you may need a point person and perhaps even oversight from outside expertise but a true engagement plan will never take flight in a siloed environment. That’s because silos prevent social media’s most powerful dynamic — the sharing and cross-pollination of human networks. This also means that …

Every Job Requires ‘Social Skills’

I heard a colleague this week say that “social media isn’t a product. It’s something that’s created between people.” To take this a step further, in a world where everyone’s a marketer, social literacy becomes an essential organizational discipline — like everyone having customer service or Excel skills. Everyone needs to know how to do this. But you needn’t be exclusional when hiring. Often companies think they need only the technologically advanced employees if they want to embrace social media. What’s actually needed are people skills. This social literacy is needed for both online and offline engagement. What we call ‘social media’ is simply a specific set of online channels for engaging your audience. When everyone’s a marketer, this media becomes a critical pipeline for mass engagement. And when it comes to engaging your community …

Success Stories Are King

This is a slight variation on the axiom ‘content is king.’ Increasingly a key task of a new world marketer is creating online content (blogs, videos, etc.) to engage your audience. When you are working to further the appeal of your brand (you are doing this in some form for any business, cause, or personality) this task often takes the shape of gathering success stories from your audience via video or testimonials. This also provides an opportunity to take advantage of the fact that our customers are socially active by harnessing their energy in support our brands. In a sense, these success stories should be a natural bi-product of a healthy engagement strategy. As interactions grow…

Central Control Is Needed Even More

Wait — this sounds counter-intuitive to breaking down silos and fostering social collaboration, right? Not so much. You see, when you charge more torch bearers to go forth into the night and further your cause, you need to ensure that they are armed with a solid brand and clearly articulated messaging. Online community development needs a strong brand at the center. And this is exactly what your marketing director can do more of now that you’ve made their lives easier by making everyone a marketer.

The Brand-Driven Insight?

Employing a culture where everyone thinks like a marketer is the first step toward embracing social media at your company. To be effective at this you need to foster an environment where social skill development is encouraged both online and offline. However, to truly develop a brand-driven community, everyone needs to accurately live and breathe your brand as well. Is your brand clear to everyone? Can your most entry-level team members articulate what you do and why you do it? They should if you want them all to be marketers for your organization in new media and beyond.

Photo via Flickr user Wayne Large