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17 Crucial Things You Must Know for Social Media Success

by Randy Duermyer  ||   8 Comments

The online Social Media Success Summit 2010 has come to a close.

I feel fortunate to have attended all but one of the daily sessions throughout the month of May.

The presenters were amazing and some of the statistics downright astonishing. The daily tips – some of which I’ve already seen work on a first-hand basis – were invaluable.

Here are what I consider to be 17 crucial takeaways from this year’s Social Media Success Summit to help you get it right and stand out in the crowd.

  1. Social media doesn’t create buzz, it uncovers it.
  2. You need to hang out where your customers and prospects hang out and listen to what they are saying about you and your competition. However, you also need to know when to join the conversation and when not to butt in.
  3. Social media efforts should not be viewed as short-term campaigns but as a long-term strategy to listen to and engage with customers and prospects.
  4. No law says you HAVE to participate in social media, but there are 3 primary reasons for doing so: Building awareness; Building sales; or building loyalty. You must know why you’re doing social media to succeed.
  5. Social media marketing requires a clearly-defined strategy that incorporates goals, objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure success and ROI.
  6. Like other forms of marketing, social media marketing needs to incorporate tactics for ARC: Attraction, Retention and Conversion. To a greater extent than other forms of marketing, social media adds Referrals to ARC, which creates a continuum.
  7. Everyone within an organization (at the very least, customer-facing employees) should be aware of your social media strategy. Choosing those who are most passionate about social media to represent you is often better than choosing participants based on their titles.
  8. Users rely heavily on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn search. Therefore, optimizing your blog and social media profiles for your targeted keywords is essential to getting found.
  9. Because your social media efforts help strengthen your SEO efforts and vice-versa, you shouldn’t consider engaging in one without the other.
  10. Using a blog as your home base and Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn (and other outlets) as outposts or “embassies” to drive traffic back to your home base is a proven strategy that can provide great results.
  11. Mobile marketing is now in its nascent stages, just as social media marketing was a few years ago. If you are participating in social media, you are already participating in mobile marketing whether you realize it or not.
  12. Using social media for contests and to promote both online and offline events can draw large crowds when executed properly.
  13. Like content marketing, your social media marketing efforts should be geared toward building relationships and trust with your customers and your prospects. The payoff will come in time. As you build awareness and trust, people will want to do business with you.
  14. Your content drives everything. Content needs to be engaging and should be re-purposed in various formats, such as articles, videos, podcasts, Facebook and LinkedIn updates and discussions, etc. Mix up your content to provide variety and make it easy to share.
  15. Developing a network of contacts (webmasters and bloggers) who are already reaching your target audience is an important way to spread your message. However, you need to treat these contacts as people, not as news outlets.
  16. Facebook advertising delivers your ads to the most targeted market your money can buy. LinkedIn is where you need to be if you want to reach decision makers.
  17. While social media is constantly changing, it’s not a fad and it’s not going to go away any time soon.

Social Media Success Summit – Index of Session Takeaways

What are your thoughts on social media? Are you actively engaging in social media marketing or still waiting on the sidelines?

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8 Responses

  1. Karen Fox says:

    Nice job Randy on the article…

  2. Nelson Wee says:

    17 excellent takeways from #SMSS10, Randy! I found great value in the following frameworks:
    1) ARC – Attraction – Retention – Conversion
    2) Homebase – Outposts
    3) Online – Offline Engagement Best Practices

    Not to forget all the constantly evolving social media touch-points (FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Groupons) – real exciting journey ahead. Look forward to stay in touch with the #smss10 fraternity and to meet once more in #smss11!

    BR,
    Nelson Wee, Singapore
    Let’s Connect @nelsonwee

  3. Hi Karen:
    Thanks for stopping by and your compliment. Glad you enjoyed it!

    Randy

  4. Hi Nelson:
    Thanks for dropping by. The Summit was sure a lot of fun and was an opportunity to reach out to some great peeps (like yourself) from all over the world.

    I’m sure we’ll bump into each other again sometime – at least virtually.

    Best,

    Randy

  5. Erin Leach-Kemon says:

    Hi Randy,

    Great post! You’ve listed some really helpful tips here.

    I’m interested to know more about #3: “Social media efforts should not be viewed as short-term campaigns but as a long-term strategy to listen to and engage with customers and prospects.”

    I recently read elsewhere that short-term social media campaigns, particularly on a social networking site like Facebook, can be quite effective in creating large spikes in traffic in a short period of time. Could you offer a bit more insight as to why you think a long-term strategy is the more useful application of social media?

    Thanks,
    Erin Leach-Kemon

  6. Hi Erin:
    Thanks for stopping by and your compliments!

    It’s true -short-term “campaigns” can be effective in delivering traffic spikes. A perfect example is a contest or event. This is great for getting your name out there and bringing in traffic, short-lived as it might be.

    However, the overarching theme of the Summit was that it’s more effective to have a social media strategy in place that long outlives any short-term campaign. This is how the companies studied were successful in outreach to customers. Their continued presence and participation in social media channels has been far more beneficial to them than a short-term effort would have been.

    Combining short-term special promotions with a longer-term strategy is certainly a great way to go. Problems arise when companies decide to try social media and then don’t see any immediate results so they give up. Their social media presence goes dormant. They wasted their time and money.

    While there’s a time and place for everything, social media marketing is a lot like content marketing as it’s a medium that can be used to strengthen relationships with both customers and prospects over the long term, and in time, those relationships (and word of mouth) will lead to long-term growth and brand loyalty.

    Randy

  7. Braden Berry says:

    However, the overarching theme of the Summit was that it’s more effective to have a social media strategy in place that long outlives any short-term campaign. This is how the companies studied were successful in outreach to customers. Their continued presence and participation in social media channels has been far more beneficial to them than a short-term effort would have been.

  8. Braden:
    Agreed. And pointed out in item 3.

    Randy

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