Social Media Still Needs Writers!

This post was written by John White on Mon, 17 Aug 2009 11:33:54 +0000
Posted Under: keywords,online marketing,social media,tell your story,value in content

mirrors_183fea8d47Social media marketing seems like smoke and mirrors, but when the smoke blows away and you take down the mirrors, you still need to hire a writer who can deliver valuable content.

Social media marketing is an exercise in riding the tiger.

The buzz is that the traditional, prescriptive notions of marketing don’t fit very well in social media, and so marketing managers need to cede some control to the crowd. Let your customers tell you what they like about you and want from you, then give it to them in short, quick bursts and hope that you’re building relationships and spreading the word.

Some ad agencies like Crispin Porter & Bogusky have turned their home pages into “part Website, part digital fishing net.” In the last century, the equivalent might have been to offer free beer all day long in the lobby of your corporate office, or to let complete strangers answer the phone.

So you’re trying to convince your traditional-minded boss to let you run the company through this social media thingee. You know that “Because it’s fun” and “Everybody’s doing it” won’t fly as cornerstones of a social media strategy, so you have to explain tweets, back-links, followings and a Squidoo lens in classical marketing terms.

(Mind you, we are probably the last generation that will need to do this. In the future, people are just going to understand it without explanation.)

A Social Media Program for Traditional Marketers

Pete Caputa of Hubspot writes:

Based on my daily interactions with marketing agencies, I believe we’ve finally reached the point where convincing companies that they need to be using social media to build awareness, audiences, traffic and leads is almost over.

Now it’s about being able to speak to them in terms they understand (rather than in terms our social media peers understand), to explain why a social media strategy is absolutely necessary.

Pete describes a new e-book from Channel V Media that bridges the voodoo of the vehicles (remember that Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Reddit and the others are only vehicles) and the traditional approach to marketing. Its goal is to help companies and marketers develop a social media plan with a foot in both camps.

-Audience Identification
-Platform Development and Design
-Brand Campaign Integration
-Content Creation/Coordination
-Goal Mapping
-Brand Identity
-Audience Attraction
-Social Media Listening
-Community and Social Responsibility
-Internal/External Community Engagement
-Brand Advocacy
-Customer Service

Marketing Writers and Social Media

In particular, the fourth bullet concerns your writers. Are they thinking too traditionally to fit in with your social media marketing plan? Do they know what to do with your keyword basket? Can they develop the content you need for these social media channels, and the brave new expectations of the people at the other end of them?

  • You still need content. Whether you opt for a white paper or a free sample, you need to tell your story somehow.
  • That content will still come from marketing writers you hire. Managing your social media strategy will be plenty of work for you already.
  • The marketing writers have to write in new ways so that the content is valuable. Every sentence has to answer the reader’s question, “Why should I care?”
  • Not valuable to you; valuable to your customers and the people with whom they share. They don’t want to share your brochure. They want to share something that will make people follow them.

The essence of social media is that somebody will read your story and share it.

Your marketing writers need to get that.

photo credit: L. Lew

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