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From #SXSW: 5 challenges for social media marketers

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Social Media

This post is by Lori Randall Stradtman, who designs WordPress sites and blogs about social media trends at Social Media Design and Social Media Examiner.

At the recent South by Southwest Interactive Festival, Mike Lewis of Awareness Inc. talked about his experiences and ideas about social marketing from the perspective of a seasoned traditional marketer who has worked with social networking from a corporate perspective. Some highlights from his talk:

The traditional marketing model:

  1. Develop a campaign
  2. Identify sources
  3. Develop compelling content
  4. Broadcast
  5. Wait

There’s a very linear progression.  Everyone was using the same formula.

But social media is new and unique. The old marketing formulas don’t apply.

The social media marketing model is based on:

  1. Data
  2. Dialogue
  3. Contextual content
  4. Community

On top of that, the rules of engagement are different for each community — Facebook, Twitter, etc.

This new social model emphasizes:

  • Listening for individuals  who show a likelihood of buying.
  • Identifying contextual influencers.
  • Hyper-targeting core users/enthusiasts with contextual offers and content.

This social model presents five core challenges for marketers, he argues.

  1. Inability to scale: How are you going to adjust your social media strategy to accommodate growth?  Usually organizations just throw more bodies at the problem, but when multiple people are handling several different account on each major social network, it’s difficult to form a coherent strategy.
  2. Security and control: How will manage password security across a large group of people?
  3. Consistency: At some companies, each department, person, etc., sounds totally different on each social platform. And at other firms you’d swear it was all being written by the same exact person. Strive for consistency!
  4. Reporting is ad-hoc: There’s no universal standard in place to measure and track metrics.
  5. Having a home base: How will you centralize your efforts?

Of course, the best news about a list like this is that all these challenges are opportunities in disguise. How will you meet these challenges?

Image credit: lisegagne, via iStockphoto