Social Media for Business –interview series presents prominent Internet professionals from all over the world who are at the cutting edge of the latest Social Platforms. During this exciting and truly international interview series our experts reveal what are the most useful Social Media Tools and what you need to consider when you start using Social Media as part of your marketing mix.
Hannah Suarez is an Online Marketing Consultant from Brisbane Australia. Hannah is currently working as a Marketing Coordinator with Brisbane Festival (online marketing), involved with the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association’s Queensland chapter and various other consultancy projects for a variety of clients in relation to web, digital and online content.
Q1. What are the most important Social Media Platforms at the moment?
First thing to come to mind is Twitter but I think that it’s because I am using Twitter effectively, hence the preference for it, but others may not see what is so great about a site that only lets you post messages up to 140 characters long! The platforms that are most important are the ones that are dynamic, interesting, two-way, easy to analyse/monitor, mobile (as in you don’t need to be at a PC to use it), open, customisable, etc.
Q2. How do you see Social Media has changed the advertising communication?
It is increasingly becoming more of a two way interaction now with individuals being able to provide real-time feedback to advertising communications such as Facebook sponsored ads and more. It is also taking place across other social media platforms or traditional is making its mark on social media. For example, I found out about the Nescafe’s recent billboard advertising campaign on Twitter when someone made a comment about it, I saw (and loved) a TVC when it was embedded on a blog post and I helped spread it virally on to my own networks.
The effects of social media can be hyperlocal or hyperglobal, day or night, weekend or weekday. If you suck, people will talk about you. If you are awesome, people will talk about you. Miniscule or major, relevant or irrelevant, people will talk about you.
Q3. How do you measure the effects of Social Media Marketing?
There are numerous tools out there including: Backtype, Disqus, Addictomatic, Trendrr, Socialmention, Boardreader, DP Dialogue’s Dialogix, Wotnews and Google Alerts (though the quality of these alerts really depend on what search terms you use). Unless we are talking big numbers (ie. a million views on YouTube) I look into the quality of the reactions, whether or not the influencers are joining in the conversation and so on, to measure and analyse the effects. Some reactions to social media marketing may also be difficult to measure so another great way is to measure effectiveness is looking into specific KPI’s – like whether or not a designated hashtag becomes a trending topic or just talking to your customers and finding out how and why they are interacting with you.
Q4. What Social Media Platforms would you recommend to a company that is just starting their online marketing?
I would recommend Twitter, Blogs (internal – hosted on their domain) with a comment system such as Disqus, Facebook (Pages, Groups, Events), LinkedIn (Groups) and Vimeo (if the company has videos).
Q5. What are the key points to remember when a business starts using Social Media?
- What is your strategy?
- What platform/s will you be using?
- What action/s will you be implementing?
- What performance indicators will you be tracking?
- How will you monitor and analyse?
- Will you listen or join in the conversation?
Q6. How does Social Media Marketing differ from traditional marketing?
I have never been involved in traditional marketing long enough to make a worthwhile comment about the differences between social media marketing and traditional marketing. I know that those involved in traditional marketing are interested to expand their knowledge and skillsets into areas such as social media marketing. As someone heavily involved in social media marketing, I am always interested to see how traditional marketing methods can work with social media. I think that adopting this openness and interest in each other’s fields can only expand the possibilities of good and efficient marketing.
Q7. Do you think every company (that has a website) should have a Social Media Strategy? Why?
Yes. Compiling a strategy – whether it is a 20 page document or a 20 word sentence – for being in the social media space will be useful for the company to articulate exactly why they are implementing social media in the first place.
Companies need to include the following questions:
- How can we engage with our audience?
- What are the key indicators that a particular action on a particular platform (at least) can benefit the company’s mission and vision?
- What are the short and long term consequence for being involved?
- What platforms should we be involved in?
- Who should be involved in these social media conversations?
Companies need to ready themselves about the implications of being in the social media space. There are a lot of articles, professional development programs and people to talk to that can help companies use social media effectively.
Q8. How do you see Facebook as a Social Media Marketing tool?
I heavily use Facebook as a social media marketing tool. Facebook is a very ‘personal’ platform so I do my best to ensure that if I were to ever market to anyone in Facebook, I would do so in the same way that I would be if I was having a conversation to a group or to an individual. What are they interested in? Is the information that I am providing relevant, useful or interesting for them? How can I present this information in a way that is unique to a platform such as Facebook? I ask myself these questions while I use Facebook for the purposes that it outside the personal/hobby realm.
Facebook has a lot of features and tools that make it a great platform. I can create a note/upload video/upload photos/write a status update and tag individuals so that they receive a notification about the note. This has been great in terms of initiating conversations that is occurring on the platform (such as Facebook status conversations) or as an alternative to sending a media release via email. I can create Facebook Events, -Pages and -Groups. And then there are the gaming platforms, Facebook advertisements and so on.
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