Nevada Business Magazine recently did a piece on Social Media and Marketing. For the article, they asked for my views on the importance of social media in which I was quoted several times. For completeness, as there were a number of contributors other than just me, I'm posting the full interview.
Q) Why is social marketing so important today?
A) What started as a phenomenon for early adopters and then began to spread to the general public, social marketing has now become mainstream. As with any mainstream marketing channel, it's important for businesses to evaluate the possible return on time and investment to determine the best possible avenue of marketing. Social marketing is certainly an area that businesses will need to investigate as part of their overall marketing strategy. The good news, other than the platform providers such as Facebook, is that late adopters have just as good an opportunity to take advantage of social marketing than the early adopters. There's really no first mover advantage in this space.
Q) What do you think the future of traditional media outlets are?
A) While there will probably be less print in the form of newspaper, traditional media will continue to thrive in the Social Media and Web 2.0 era. However, you'll find that traditional media will utilize more stories that started socially and then will spread them via their traditional media outlets, magnifying the reach. Traditional media should continue to develop additional monetization opportunities beyond the printed material, but I think you'll find magazines that offer timeless content instead of news will perform the best. There's no better place for immediate news than the Web and anything printed is already old news.
Q) What are some of the ways businesses can/should take advantage of social marketing and media?
A) A lot of focus is spent on having a Twitter account, Facebook account and possibly Myspace and YouTube channels. What people may overlook is that blogging is still a core foundation of social media. An effective social marketing strategy would be to offer a value proposition in the form of valuable content. The social marketing websites can then be conduits to deliver that content to potential customers in a format that's most convenient for them. Via blogging, all that content has a central place to live in which the business owner can control and a technology such as RSS (Really Simple Syndication) can be used publish that content to the various outlets.
Q) Tell me a little about some of the websites and other commonly utilized for this type of media. (For example, Facebook, SMS, etc.)
A) A website that's been getting a lot of attention from social media marketers is HootSuite. HootSuite allows these marketers to manage multiple social media platforms from a single website. Not only can you manage multiple social media platforms, but the fact that you can manage multiple accounts makes it really attractive. There are a number of services like HootSuite popping up that allow you to manage your social media efforts. In fact, an interesting thing about Twitter is that more people manage their Twitter accounts from websites or applications other than the Twitter website. The Twitter website has become secondary in this sense.
Q) How are new technologies and websites changing the face of marketing and social media?
A) Social Media has actually been around for quite some time in different forms. Since humans roamed the Earth, people have gathered in circles to share ideas and information and connected with each other based on common interests. The Internet and now Social Media platforms are simply a way to manage those relationships. It's more like an evolutionary process of bringing those people with those common interests closer and making them more accessible. Traditional marketing concepts are still just as relevant as before. Some people think that when these type of new technologies hit the scene that you must immediately change the way you do business. You have to adapt, but basic business principles shouldn't simply be thrown out.
Q) What do you think the next generation of social marketing venues are? Do you think it's something like Google Wave or something entirely new?
A) One thing that gets overlooked is the inherent need of people to be physically close with each other, not just connected via airwaves and wires. A technology that brings people physically closer based on their social interests would certainly be interesting. At some point not getting together in person is going to reduce those great brainstorming sessions that happen when you are sitting in person across from someone. Humans communicate in more ways that just via the written word. A lot of communication comes from non verbal cues such as body language and verbal tone. The more people rely on social media, the less they condition their non verbal communication skills.
|About the author
Mark Cenicola is the president and CEO of BannerView.com, developers of BannerOS, the software that helps companies turn their websites into powerful business tools. Mark is also the author of the book "The Banner Brand – Small Business Success Comes from a Banner Brand – Build it on a Budget." Read Mark's full biography. You can find him tweeting on Twitter and starring in videos for the company's YouTube channel.
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