Every day brings new headlines on the latest developments on the Social Media front:
- Facebook shows it learned nothing from the Beacon fiasco with Sponsored Stories
- 44% of surveyed members of the American Marketing Association say that Social Media Strategy is their top focus of 2011
- YouTube recommendations now powered by your friends on social networks
- 96% of leading US charities are using Social Media to promote their causes
- Amazon book recommendations now linked to your Facebook connections
- Ad spending on social networks is growing fast in the US, but even faster in the rest of the world
- Social networks may determine your viewing habits in the new Google TV
- Why it’s so important for every brand to understand and embrace Social Shopping
Social Media isn’t the only game in town — but it’s become hugely important for marketers, PR people and communicators of every stripe and persuasion.
We wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t encourage you to join the more than 300 marketers who have so far taken part in our Social Media Marketing eCourse.
PS We have an EARLY BIRD OFFER that closes in advance of the main course (5pm Monday 21 February). See below to SAVE $100.
Here are the course details:
Social Networks are Changing The Way People Buy
Consumers are turning for buying advice to their friends, associates and even total strangers connected through social media — and making decisions based on what’s being said, for good or bad.
1.92 million Kiwis now look to their fellow Internet users for opinions and information about products, services or brands, according to the New Zealand Social Media Report (Nielsen, July 2010).
Study after study has shown that consumers trust their friends (and their friends’ friends) more than anyone else when it comes to making a purchase decision.
Alas, you may have a comprehensive training programme in place for your staff, agents, branches and resellers — but now there’s a whole new constituency to inform, entertain, educate or with whom you now need to interact.
There’s a whole lot of talking going on — much of it happening in the social networks — and some of it may well be about you, your brands or your products.
In a perfect world, those who are doing the talking would know all about your products and would give wise, totally informed advice to their correspondents.
Unfortunately, that’s seldom the case — many of us feel free to venture an opinion on a subject even if we don’t really know the facts. Which is why marketers need to venture forth into the social media space — preceded if necessary by someone carrying a red lantern and a white flag, warning onlookers of impending newbie behaviour.
IF YOU’RE THERE, THEY WILL TALK TO YOU AS WELL
Consumers will interact socially with brands and their owners if the opportunity arises. 44 percent of Kiwi Twitter users say they have ‘followed’ companies or brands via the site, according to the Nielsen report. New Zealand companies are also jumping on the Twitter bandwagon, with 30% of marketers saying that their company has established a presence on Twitter.
SO HAVE YOU GONE SOCIAL YET?
The more nimble members of the business community have already hammered up their shingles on Facebook and Twitter — now it’s the turn of the Early Majority.
A moment of candour here: for many, it won’t be easy.
Traditionally-trained marketers are now finding themselves actively having to consider communications tools that (or at least so it seems) have the lifespan of a mayfly yet have instantly become insanely popular with consumers all over the world.
Most marketers have a comfortable familiarity with brochures, print, tv and radio ads and direct mail. They’ve learned to use (or at least live with) websites, email, search engines and the occasional online banner advertisement.
But social networks scare them silly.
The vast majority of today’s business executives are not “digital natives”. They grew up (and, by and large, went through the bulk of their professional training) before the internet changed everything.
For many, social networks are the place where anarchy reigns (in the form of uncontrolled consumer activity and comment).
Some worry that the Facebooks and Twitters of this frightening new world will be marketing graveyards – the place where brands are most at threat.
And there is a risk of that happening – at least for those brands and organisations that don’t play fair with the consumer.
For most organisations, however, social networks are really just another communications tool – if marketers can overcome their most basic and heartfelt concerns.
And the best way to deal with those fears? Knowledge.
TRAINING DESPERATELY NEEDED
Marketers recognise the need to get involved in social media — but for many the question is where to start.
If YOU find yourself in that position, here’s our recommended solution:
Course SM11: Social Media Marketing eCourse
Our seven-week eCourse provides a comprehensive introduction to Social Media Marketing, from the Basics to detailed instructions on how to build and run a Social Media Marketing programme.
This is an ONLINE-ONLY course — you can take part from anywhere, in your own time.
This eCourse is conducted on a web-based e-learning software platform, enabling course participants to proceed at their own pace, accessing materials online. This particular eCourse provides content in a variety of multimedia forms, including videos, slideshows, flash-based presentations and PDF files. No special software is required to participate.
Course lessons are released weekly, for participants to access in accordance with their own timetables. Interaction with the course tutor is enabled through the platform software tools (with telephone backup if required).
Feedback from previous Social Media Marketing eCourse Participants
- “this was the best professional development course I have done in many years” - Mark R, senior Agency Exec
- “thought the information within was outstanding” - Ed P, General Manager
- “What I loved was that I started with a fairly rudimentary understanding of social media but have learned a lot – including where to find more information as I need it.” – Fiona W, marketing exec
- “I found it relevant, informative, topical, insightful and a bloody good read. It’s never evangelical, too techy, patronising, assumes that you know too much or too little about digital and has a warm sense of humour in the communication throughout which helped faciliate the learning process for me.” — Adrienne B, consultant
- “Thanks for pointing me in the direction of this course! It’s been extremely enlightening” — Shayne P, design agency director
- “Rapt with what I have seen of the course” — Julia R, fashion editor
- “I’m really enjoying the course – learning a lot – and I know the two friends I persuaded to join us are also loving it.” — Lavinia C, designer
- “I was already engaging with social media and have been doing so for about 6 years or so. Remembering the days when all of my friends were on Bebo and MySpace and seeing how this has now shifted so dramatically. But, did I know how to use social media in a marketing and business sense? No, I simply did not. This course was a great way to show me how to do that.” — Sheryl K, ad agency exec
The next eCourse starts on Monday February 28, with the delivery to participants of the Introduction and Lesson One. New lessons are delivered weekly on Mondays.
WHO SHOULD TAKE PART
Anyone who may have a fair knowledge of what social media options are out there, but doesn’t know how to use them effectively for business or marketing (whether to get involved directly or to brief others who will carry out the work).
WHAT YOU SHOULD LEARN AS A RESULT OF THE COURSE:
- The principles of effective marketing in social media
- Which social networks are strongest in your target markets, who uses them and how to sign up
- What social media can do for your (or your clients’) business
- How to build a social media programme (you’ll start constructing your own during the course)
- The best tools and techniques for monitoring social networks
- How to really understand and engage with the consumer
- How to create relevant, informative, killer content for your social media programme
- How to define and measure meaningful numbers to determine the success (or otherwise) of your social media activities
- Answering those questions that (if you’re not prepared) could kill your career
- How to watch for, and adapt to, the Next Big Thing in Social Media (whatever that is)
INTRODUCTION: WHY SOCIAL MEDIA SILENCE IS DEADLY
LESSON ONE: THE BASICS — TELL ME ALL ABOUT THESE “SOCIAL NETWORKS”.
LESSON TWO: SOCIAL MEDIA AND YOU — I’M AFRAID OF INTRUDING IN SOCIAL MEDIA –ALL THOSE CONSUMERS WILL TRASH MY BRAND
LESSON THREE: BUILDING THE PLAN — ENOUGH TALK ALREADY, LET’S START BUILDING SOMETHING
LESSON FOUR: MONITORING — DON’T SAY A THING. JUST LISTEN FIRST (EVEN FOR JUST 10 MINUTES A DAY).
LESSON FIVE: ENGAGEMENT — WILL CONSUMERS REALLY ENGAGE WITH ME AND MY BRAND, OR WILL THEY JUST BE POLITE?
LESSON SIX: CREATING KILLER CONTENT — TELL ME STUFF THAT’S REALLY INTERESTING – AND STOP SELLING AT ME, THIS ISN’T A USED CAR LOT
LESSON SEVEN: METRICS AND ROI: — OVERCOMING THOSE QUESTIONS THAT KILL MARKETING CAREERS
CONCLUSION: WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE, AND WHO’S DRIVING?
For full course details, please see http://MarketingRebooted.co.nz
This seven-part eCourse is available for $397 +GST. However we offer a special Early Bird rate of just $297 +GST if you book and pay before 5pm THIS COMING MONDAY 21 FEBRUARY.
Bookings are confirmed on receipt of payment, which can be by cheque, bank deposit or credit card. We can raise an invoice in advance if you need it.
If you’d like to pay by credit card, please sign up through PayPal by clicking here.
If you would prefer to pay by cheque or bank deposit, or require an invoice before making payment, please send an email to email@example.com with your contact details.
(The service provider will be shown as Netmarketing Services Limited in your transaction and on your credit card statement).
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
- Your booking will be confirmed by email (if you have not received a confirmation within 24 hours, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org).
- On Monday February 28 you will be supplied by email with login details and Course Notes for the first lesson.
- Further Lessons will be provided at weekly intervals for the duration of the seven-week course.
For more information, please visit http://MarketingRebooted.co.nz