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Social Media Isn’t a Magic Bullet

Tod Meisner

Social media is free right? Surely it can solve all my sales and marketing goals. Wrong! Digital Marketing in 2020 requires a strong brand messaging architecture and paid media strategy to supplement an organic social media strategy. In this podcast, we will learn how brands need to evolve their social media thinking and approach in order to stay relevant and achieve KPIs that matter. Tod Meisner joins us to discuss why social media isn't a magic bullet. 

Susan Jones: What brand messaging architecture and why would you say that's so important?

Tod Meisner: In essence it's what is that main brand message. What are we trying to get across with our brand ambition? Then that next layer is who are we trying to get this across to? If you're working in any level of marketing, social or otherwise, who is our persona, who's our target audience, who needs to hear this message? Then, from there, build out your messaging architecture. You do some quantitative and qualitative research to find insights and then build messaging around those insights. What are our consumers wanting to know? How do we solve those problems and answer those questions? It's thinking big picture and thinking strategically.

Susan Jones: People sometimes go to brand Facebook pages, or other social media pages, and start asking customer service questions or saying bad things about their customer service experience. How do you deal with that?

Tod Meisner: It all goes back to having the right plans in place. I've been a part of building these social response plans. If someone says something "bad," how does that escalate? Who handles it? Because at the end of the day, it is unfair to expect every social media manager on the front line to also have to be a customer service rep. We've built a plan that says okay if we're going to comment on social media we tell them here's a number to call and here's an inbox to take it to. That's always been priority number one, get it off social. You can go round and round and round with people on Facebook or Twitter, whatever. What's that really solving? Get it offline, get it into the people that can handle it, and hopefully within a quick enough manner for issues resolved.

Susan Jones: Let's talk about the need for social marketers to be thought leaders.

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Tod Meisner: I think that all begins with having the visibility, transparency and awareness of company foundations. What is the company trying to accomplish? I think social managers have done a good job over the last few years of fighting for better visibility internally, asking the right questions. When you're in a meeting take notes and ask questions and kind of be that sponge. Then from there you know what the big problems are for your company and you can say ‘how can social solve these problems?’ Own your space. Own that you are comfortable working in social. You've been working in social, you know the ins and outs, you know what worked for brand X isn't going to work for you. Know what that brand essence is and then carry that over into social.

Susan Jones: You mentioned to me was the importance of social media being a trusted resource. That seems pretty obvious, but how and why is that the case, Todd, and how can we make that happen?

Tod Meisner: Great question, and I sound like a broken record, nothing is one-size-fits-all. However, I think for most brands, what is that brand ambition? What are you selling or what do you offer and how do you make that easy to get for your consumers? And if they run into some obstacles or have some questions, how are you there as a brand to make that transaction easier and go more smoothly? There's a lot of layers there. Is that lead nurturing emails? Is it social? Is it giving them a demo? Kind of where are they at in that journey to purchase and how can you as a brand always be there. But if you're there with empathy and care and show that you truly want to help, then they'll trust you. And as you build that trust, hopefully trust then leads to purchase. And that's a delicate dance that brands try to do to get to that ultimate they buy from us or do business with us.

Susan Jones: Tell us a little bit about the role of organic social media today and the role of paid social media.

Tod Meisner: Organic is dead from a standpoint of for most brands moving the needle or having a business impact. Organic is probably not going to move very many levers for you anymore. Just because it's free, it doesn't mean it's easy. Because it's free, it doesn't show up in everybody's feed. I think there's people who still don't get the feeds that aren't chronological. You have to, as that subject matter expert, build a case for paid social support. You're paying for clicks. You're paying for what matters. You're buying those eyeballs. That's advertising 101. You want to make money, you got to spend money.

Interested in the full discussion and information about other trending topics in the Marketing Communications industry? Tune into the Podcast every Thursday at 1 p.m. ET and view all archived episodes below.

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