An Infographic I Created using a blank template and tools on the website Piktochart.com
An Infographic I Created using a blank template and tools on the website Piktochart.com
We’ve heard of students majoring in Social Studies, but Social Media Studies? That’s a new development, even for us. At Creatine Marketing, we are in the business of digital marketing and social strategy, but last year, while we were in the process of seeking out new employees, interviewing them, gauging them for experience, and putting them to work— some interesting questions came up.
Mainly, everyone was curious about what kind of training, education, or experience qualifies a person to create an effective social media strategy. How do you hire the right person for the job and instill the proper skill sets necessary to develop a social strategy? Now that we are in the market for new interns and employees again, we’re attempting to answer some of those questions and offer our readers and clients some insight into the various methods of obtaining a social media education, or experience in the field.
A common misconception is that the average social media user is sufficiently qualified to carry out a successful marketing campaign. Many businesses make the mistake of finding someone who uses Facebook every day and trusting him or her with the responsibility of creating a strategy, developing a focused direction, managing a budget, and controlling access to major accounts and passwords. Being an individual with a few social media accounts does not prepare you for analyzing engagement, interacting with thousands of fans daily, measuring SEO metrics, or meeting with clients to discuss and execute plans for branding, reputation management, and content creation.
Social strategy aids companies in communicating with their customers via digital channels, and the goal of a campaign created to function online is not too far off from the objectives of other marketing campaigns designed for radio, print, or television. A strong background in marketing, advertising, communication, sociology, business, or consumer relations is highly valued in this field. Whether you learn these skills in a classroom or from years of experience as an independent entrepreneur, they will ensure your success when developing a strategy for your business or other clients.
Universities and colleges now offer courses in digital media, online strategy, social media, web analytics, search engine marketing and more. Even Harvard offers a course called Digital Marketing: Social Media and Online Strategies. Because the field of marketing has dramatically shifted with the rise of social media and the increase of devices, platforms, and applications, companies are recognizing that it takes the right person to head their social media marketing department.
It is also important to remember that a degree or university education is not the only qualifying factor. Many companies can train the right employee to understand the importance of branding, promotion, research, writing and distributing content, keeping an open dialogue with customers, managing bad press, and mastering effective communication. Additionally, digital marketing is a constantly evolving field and, because of the continuous metamorphosis, social strategists need to be the kinds of people who adapt quickly. This kind of skill is hard to teach.
Individuals from a wide variety of education and experiential backgrounds are taking on roles with social business components—social strategy, community management, and managing social campaigns. While formal courses may not be the most productive route in an ever-changing field, jumping in with no experience is even more harmful to your company. If you are truly interested in being successful in social media and digital marketing there are books, blogs, articles, podcasts and plenty of online information offering introductory and in-depth knowledge about the field.
By: Sasha Novikov| Creatine Marketing
Social media should be a critical part of your company’s marketing strategy. Through each network, you have the opportunity to present an image of your company, in hopes that you will positively influence the customer’s perception of your brand. The image you present through your social media campaigns, therefore, should be just as well devised and prepared as the image you would present in any other advertising pursuit.
This may sound insane, because it’s 2013 and social media is no longer in its infancy stage—but far too many businesses get on the social bandwagon simply because their competitors are doing it or because it seems like something you ought to do. However, simply being online isn’t enough – you need a sense of direction, a clear understanding of what your goals are. What do you hope “getting online” will achieve? Opening up a few social accounts without mapping out a clear strategy is completely useless to your business.
When it comes to social media, you cannot afford to make mistakes or refuse to do it at all. When thinking about whom to assign to your campaign, as with any job, you need to find the person or people with the relevant skills and experience.
I wouldn’t trust my social media campaign to a junior
member of staff because they mentioned they are bored
and have a Facebook page.
Using social media for personal purposes is a completely different ball game. The people you trust to speak on behalf of your company, your brand, your product, and your service should have more than just a passing familiarity with social media. Knowing how to tweet, post, like, and re-pin, is child’s play. What about tracking your company’s analytics, ensuring stellar search engine results, maintaining daily interaction with thousands of fans and followers, generating unique and compelling content, and producing return on investment metrics?
While you may be able to find a candidate to do this work within your marketing department, often times it is wise to branch out to an agency that is prepared to handle the workload. You need to choose people who understand your goals, have a passion for customer service, and hold creativity as their main priority when coming up with ideas on how to engage current and new followers.
Effective social media takes imagination, superior
interpersonal communication skills, and excellent grasp of
Although, you may think it’s clever and cost efficient to assign the management of your accounts to several employees, and while this may help spread loads of content, it can also create incoherence and confuse your customers and followers. For many small businesses, handling social media activity internally isn’t always an option because they do not have the time or expertise. Calling in the services of a knowledgeable social media marketing team may be the smartest way to go.
A good digital marketing firm will offer extensive experience working with clients across multiple sectors and will be able to use tried and tested techniques. If you offer the agency additional insight into who your target audience is, and what you want to achieve with your campaign, outsourcing social media to an expert will pay off, big time. Rather than taking on the stress of managing hundreds of your own accounts, you can work with your marketing agency to create a cross-platform message that is genuine and true to your brand so that your customers feel like they can trust you.
A social media marketing agency will know how to protect your cyber privacy, and how to subtly include sales promotions without bombarding your followers with advertisements. Once you establish a good line of communication with an agency, you can go over all of the details of your strategy including how consistently you want to post content and when you want to engage with your audience. You can then trust your social media campaign to a competent team of marketers who will dedicate their time to constructing a strong digital marketing campaign for your business.
Creatine Marketing specializes in website design, video marketing, social media management, and mobile applications. The company was founded in 2010, and with a recent explosion in its client base, and an increase in staff, is off to a promising start and prepared to take on new challenges this upcoming year.
The online marketing firm qualified for the list based on its strong search engine optimization (SEO) ranking, distinct social presence, and its brand managementexcellence. One of the biggest challenges in SEO is staying current with the newest techniques associated with obtaining top search rankings. The Creatine Marketing team uses an advanced software called SNAP Social in order to manage their client’s accounts efficiently and effectively. The social media marketing professionals diligently seek out and publish content based on popular trends. They ensure that clients are kept up-to-date in order to increase their brand visibility, reach, and overall success.
The organization has an expansive reach and excels in SEO. In fact, if one were to search for ‘social media marketing companies or agencies’ using Google, Creatine Marketing’s webpage would appear on the first page nearly every time. Some of the other companies on the list have been in business since the late nineties, so for a firm so young to reach this rank in such a short amount of time is an incredible accomplishment.
Ranking number 13 on a list of 30 Best Social Media MarketingServices is no small feat. The people at Creatine Marketing understand that progress requires effective communication, useful information, quality keywords and phrases, and the insight to always be adapting. The firm has a straightforward and practical vision — to help individuals and businesses establish an online presence that not only communicates the vision of theirbrand and captures the attention of their target audience, but also demonstrates a tangible ROI (Return On Investment).