Tag Archives: marketing

[Slideshow] 3 challenges for social media marketers

Today I’d like to talk about three challenges you’re most likely to encounter when running social media accounts for business.

Social Fish asked the attendees of its workshop what the biggest challenge they’ve ever encountered for using social media and categorizes their challenges into three groups: individual, internal process, and structure and culture challenges. I’ll pick one challenge from each category and discuss them.

* If the video won’t play, watch it on YouTube.

1. Individual Challenge: Time Management

Personally this was the number one biggest challenge when I was running a Twitter account for my client. Because everything is happening in real time and you need to react in real time too, it is hard to predict what your schedule will be like when you start a day. In the morning, your day starts as an easy one but in the afternoon it may suddenly get busy. Also, if you’re in charge of other tasks besides social media management, you must be very good at multitasking and getting things done quickly. Very quickly without errors. And it would be the worst if you’re the only one running social media while handling other projects like me… Managing your time well is key for doing social media marketing.

2. Internal Process Challenge: Competition about Message and Time

Have you ever had an experience of being asked different things by different clients from the same company/department? Say, you’re asked to create a flyer for TV. Because the space is limited, you can feature one topic and need to list others in bullet points only. Client A wants you to create a flyer featuring image quality, while Client B wants you to create one focusing on design. Would you imagine how hard it is if you’re in the same situation when you create a tweet within 140 letters and ask your clients to make a decision as soon as possible?

In addition, don’t expect everyone at your agency or client’s company knows how social media works. One day, one of our followers asked us a very technical question which neither of my client or me could answer. My client asked a technician working in a different department to answer the follower’s question. Because the technician was working in a different department than my client and (I think) didn’t know well how quickly people on Twitter usually expect to get a reply, it took a few days to get an answer from him. His answer was perfect but we kept our follower waiting for pretty long. We were not sure if he was satisfied with the answer, since we didn’t get a reply from him again.

3. Structure and Culture Challenge: Leadership

If your boss or client is open to new technology and eager to learn about it, you’re very fortunate. If they are not, I feel you. It’s a huge challenge if you are working with someone who knows little about how social media works for business but wants to take a leadership as s/he’s always been doing. You need some time and patience to educate them about social media.

Social media has changed how marketing works but also how we work. How is your workplace adopting social media? What challenges have you faced so far? Feel free to make a comment!

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Filed under MKTG 1552, Social Media, Twitter

Is there too much content around us?

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I sometimes wonder if companies are giving customers too much content on the Internet. Some may agree with this, while others may say that there’ll never be too much. As a customer, I’m happy to have access to as much content as possible when making a decision to buy something. I can choose what is valuable to me. If I find something irrelevant to me, I’ll just leave the page. However, as a marketing person, I feel that the more we create, the more customers want.

Will there ever be enough content to satisfy the customers? No, I don’t think so. So should we keep creating more content? Hmm…I guess so.

Joe Pulizzi discusses that having more content is not always better. He states that there used to be “a time for more, but that time has passed.” Because the concept of Content Marketing has now been accepted by a number of businesses, we’re now heading into the next phase, “Epic Content Marketing.”

According to Pulizzi, epic content is something which is shared by customers and people on their networks, makes a lot of buzz on the Internet and encourages influencers to create new content from your content. To stop feeling obligated to create more content, we need to focus on better content creation.

So does that mean we don’t need to create more content?

Here’s a different opinion. Mark Roberge, Senior Vice President of Sales and Services at HubSpot, reveals some of the secrets of their successful website. He claims that “you need both quality and quantity of content.”

HubSpot has done an interesting test to see if the quantity of content affects its quality. As a result, they received more comments, links, and views when posting five entries a day on their blog than only one entry a day. This proves that creating more content is not always ineffective. The more content we create, the more audiences we can reach.

Having read both articles, I think that it is up to customers to make the best of so much content available to them. Because there has been a great amount of content around them, especially for the past few years when social media has been playing a significant role in marketing, they are now used to finding what they want. All we, marketing people, have to do is to create more content which educates customers and are valuable to them. If we keep focusing on what customers want, we won’t create content which doesn’t interest them. Therefore, there will never be too much content for customers.

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Filed under Content Marketing, MKTG 1550

How does social media change the way we work?

Client: “Can you tweet something to promote this event at 1 pm local time in Vancouver tomorrow?

Me: “…Of course. So that’s Saturday at 5 am in Japan if I’m correct?

Client: “Yes. Sorry, it’s a bit early for weekend but please tweet something from your home!

Hung up the phone and wondered if the time zones have vanished in the marketing industry.

This is one of the most shocking and memorable favors I’ve ever been asked when I was working at an ad agency in Japan. Some of you may think it is no problem because you can easily schedule your tweets with HootSuite. Well, this conversation was taken place in Fall 2009 and yes, HootSuite already did exist. However, unfortunately I knew nothing about such handy tool at the time, so I had to wake up before 5 am on my precious weekend and posted some tweets myself. I tweeted like a zombie and thought I couldn’t hate anything more than running a Twitter account for business.

As digital media has played a significant role in marketing for the past few years, the way people work in the marketing industry are now different than the way they used to. Especially if you are running social media accounts for your client, everything moves so quickly and so do you. If someone tweets a question to your client’s account, you have to respond immediately. Whether your client has some news to tweet or post on Facebook or not, you have to post something relevant and valuable to your fans/followers every day in order to keep them interested in your client and to gain new customers.

Here are some questions.

How does social media change the way marketing people work and what else does it change? What kind of benefits and problems does social media create in terms of marketing?

Please think through these questions. I’ll talk about them in future posts.

In this blog, I’ll be focusing on the marketing industry and discussing social media from the creator’s view.

Stay tuned!

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Filed under Introduction, MKTG 1552, Social Media