Thursday, June 25, 2009

Social Media Tips from David Scott Meerman

Yesterday, marketing and PR strategist David Scott Meerman was featured on a Vocus webinar talking about the New Rules of Marketing and PR.

Meerman noted that, after four decades of nameless, faceless advertising and marketing projects, marketers finally have the chance to tell their stories directly to an interested market. Before jumping into social media -- -- blogs, ebooks, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, etc. -- he advises marketers and PR folks to consider a few things:

1. Who are your various “buyer personas”? If you’re a hotel, for example, your personas could be business travelers, weddings guests and planners, families, couples away for a romantic weekend, etc. Your job is not to hype your products or services to these folks, but to develop a conversation with them based on their interest and concerns. Tip: To help him communicate better, Meerman uses a classic copywriting technique -- he names each of his personas (your business traveler could be Stephanie, for example).

2. Rather than trying to sell, emphasize what you want your persona to believe about your product or service. To demonstrate, Meerman featured the Volvo brand, which the vast majority of respondents associate with “safety.” The Obama brand? Meerman says he's spoken all over the world and audiences everywhere say they associate "change" with Obama.

3. Earn attention. The old marketing/PR model relies on Buying advertising, Begging for attention from the media, and Bugging people one at a time to buy (sales calls). In the social media model, we Earn Attention by sharing useful information – sometimes about our own products/services, yes, but in the social media conversation, that's not required.

4. On the web, you are what you publish, so play nice. Encourage sharing (Meerman calls this information-pass-along tactic, “word of mouse”).

5. The old model of “information sharing” features “press releases” – a strategy of communication that fails completely. Meerman noted that, in 2008, when journalists were asked to come up with the phrases they heard most often in press releases, they identified 350 press release clich├ęs (e.g. “innovate,” “pleased to announce that,” “world-class,” “next generation”). When these 350 offenders were compared against all the press releases actually sent in 2008, every single one of the 700,700 releases contained one or more of these habitual offenders.

- scrubbed by Marketing Brillo

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