Introducing a social marketing ethos to your brand?

Introduction

The first article in this new series, “Are you are looking for leadership within your business?” investigated the concept of marketing. The conclusion was that marketing is everything! The service or product you sell. The way your receptionist greets a visitor. The way the switchboard answers a call. Your product design, pricing and packaging. Your communication to your market. Your company vision & leadership. Everything.
However, the most discovered word in that research process was not marketing but social marketing.
That reveals an entirely new vocabulary. Social media, online marketing, digital marketing, inbound marketing, narrative marketing, SEO, social media, blogging, keyword selection, organic and paid reach, marketing automation and content.
So what is social marketing?
Is social marketing simply about building a web page? Or building a Facebook presence? Or starting a blog supporting your product or business?
This article explores elements you must consider before starting your own social marketing journey.

What makes a business stand out!

Although social marketing is a recent phenomenon, certain issues remain timeless. Service remains a business stand out.

“Legendary service is one of the criteria that sets one company apart from its competitors. It’s the mark of a truly authentic company – you just can’t fake caring!” – Kim Garst

How do I communicate that excellence?

Traditional one-way communication opportunities still abound. Television, radio, print & billboards. Combinations of organic and paid media offer new opportunities. Using those new media opportunities requires a different perspective.

“Brands that use social media as a broadcast system will end up feeling pretty lonely.” – Kim Garst

Technology has given people the ability to connect in ways and numbers as never before.

“We have technology, finally, that, for the first time in human history, allows people to really maintain rich connections with much larger numbers of people.” – Pierre Omidyar

Social Marketing is about people connecting, not about technology, data or portals

It is that we have technology that allows individuals to connect. And to share.

“Social media is about sociology and psychology more than technology.” – Brian Solis

Previously a good or a bad service Word of Mouth (WOM) statement was heard by a neighbour, a friend, a colleague or a neighbour. Now that same message is heard by many, many more people.

“If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.” – Jeff Bezos

It is about narrative marketing

The traditional marketing model involved the brand custodian developing a convincing brand proposition and communicating that uni-directionally to the target market.
With social it is about the brand custodian creating a strong brand story, sharing that with the target and encouraging that market to share it amongst their own networks.

“A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is.” – Scott Cook, co-founder, Intuit

Social marketing is about everything

A quote used previously suggests

“Marketing is everything a company does, from how they answer the phone, how quickly and effectively they respond to email, to how they handle accounts payable, to how they treat their employees and customers.” – B.L. Ochman – President, What’s Next

In other words, it is everything a company is. That is even more true for social marketing.

Technology supports the business direction, it does not define it

“The future of marketing isn’t big data, it’s big understanding.” – Jay Baer

One of the challenges that marketers are facing in this new era of social media marketing is of connecting with audiences on an individual and personal level. Real and authentic. And building your brand opportunity and vision around their needs.

Do I get my team to contribute?

Social marketing is about everything and that includes everyone. It is not only the marketing responsibles that carry out the communication strategy, but all within the company who can contribute.

“Employees are ambassadors for your brand. Because they know the product best and interact with customers on a daily basis, they are the most in-tune with your customers’ wants and needs. Every business owner wants their content to be valuable for their customers, so what better way to ensure this happens than to involve the people who know them best — your employees.“ – Aicardi

Conclusion

It is clear that brand owners must turn “target” communities into real networks. And develop loyalty towards their brand within those communities. That will define the brand’s sustainability into the future.
That takes us to the question of whether social media is the right way to go?

“We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it.” – Erik Qualman

In future posts we will explore how to go about doing that.

References

I thank the authors and websites listed for their collection of thoughts on the subject of social marketing, noting the original source is their association.
Aicardi, S. (2017) 6 Ways Your Employees Can Accelerate Your Content Marketing, SEJ. Available at: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/6-ways-employees-can-help-your-business-content-marketing-efforts/184747/#close (Accessed: 17 November 2019).
Cohen, H. (2011) What is Marketing? Available at: https://heidicohen.com/marketing-definition/ (Accessed: 22 November 2019).
Ganassini, M. G. (2016) 60 (+1) Digital Marketing Quotes to Inspire Your Strategies, MailUp. Available at: https://blog.mailup.com/2016/12/digital-marketing-quotes/?pd=8d4527371bb64 (Accessed: 15 November 2019).
Gil (2015) 43 Of The Best Social Media Marketing Quotes, Influencer Marketing. Available at: https://eclincher.com/blog/43-of-the-best-social-media-quotes/ (Accessed: 14 November 2019).
Gingiss, D. (2019) 8 Quotes That Define The State Of Social Media Today, forbes.com. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/dangingiss/2019/04/02/8-quotes-that-define-the-state-of-social-media-today/#576f64ae6523 (Accessed: 14 November 2019).
Jovancic, N. (2018) 127 Powerful Marketing Quotes to Inspire Your Business Efforts in 2019, leadquizzes.com. Available at: https://blog.leadquizzes.com/marketing-quotes/ (Accessed: 15 November 2019).
Social Media Marketing Quotes (2019) Goodreads. Available at: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/social-media-marketing (Accessed: 15 November 2019).
Weinreich, N. K. (2010) What is Social Marketing?, Weinreich Communications. Available at: http://www.social-marketing.com/Whatis.html (Accessed: 10 November 2019).

About Garth Sutherland

Garth Sutherland has an extensive multicultural understanding.

He has worked with local brands (creating independent strategic positions) and international brands (integrating the international brand vision with the local demand to optimize the “on the ground” brand presence). His strengths include bringing a strong strategic focus into all aspects of marketing delivery, working with multi-agency perspectives, independent thinking & implementing with a consistent and practical teamwork focused delivery.

If you are looking to maximize the strategic value of your brand opportunity, Garth is the ideal resource to task.
You can contact him on +971 (0) 50 459 2536 or +27 (0)81 265 5803 or at garthsu@gmail.com

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