About the Author
Since 1999, Liana "Li" Evans has been active full-time in the search marketing arena, becoming well-versed in all avenues of social media and search marketing. Li runs the Search Marketing Gurus blog and is the director of social media for Serengeti Communications, a Washington, DC-based online marketing firm that focuses on building social media strategies for companies and training companies to bring online marketing in-house.
Li has led the SEO strategy for an Internet Retailer 500 company, and was the SEO and social media architect for a Fortune 500 multi-million page entertainment Web site. As a database designer and programmer since 1992, Liana has developed technical expertise in dealing with large-scale retail sites and their dynamic natures.
She holds degrees in both public relations and information technology, which lend well to working with client strategies in social media and search marketing. Li speaks and trains social media and SEO at Search Engine Strategies and other industry conferences.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
I believe that social media is changing the way that companies need to interact with both their audiences and customers by listening and directly engaging with them. I’m Liana “Li” Evans, and I am the author of Social Media Marketing: Strategies for Engaging in Facebook, Twitter & Other Social Media.
I’ve written this book to give any marketer, novice, or expert a deeper look into the realm of social media marketing. So much has been touted, preached, and hoisted up on a pedestal as things marketers or companies should be doing, it’s hard to believe what’s true and what isn’t. This book can be your guide from beginning to end in understanding what’s hype and what’s not. From making the case of whether or not you should be actively engaging in social media, to putting the pieces together to plan a successful social media marketing strategy, I hope you will put this book to good use.
There’s a lot to digest when it comes to learning the different facets that comprise the world of social media. It isn’t simply just Facebook or Twitter—there’s a much bigger world out there than most marketers or company CEOs or CMOs are even aware of. Understanding that your audience and customers might not be where the media thinks they are (Twitter and Facebook, for example) is an important concept to grasp if you want to be successful.
Social media is also constantly changing. The Facebooks of today will be the Friendsters and MySpaces of tomorrow. Communities ebb and flow. They depend highly on engagement and members giving their time. When members cease to find reasons to share and leave the communities, those communities can go through low periods. Some recover, some don’t. For this reason, you have to be flexible with your social media strategies and constantly be monitoring and researching the conversations and where they’re happening.
Throughout the book, you’ll find several themes:
- Research—You need to research your audience and customers thoroughly. Without the research, you are only guessing at where to start. Without the research, you will be wasting a lot of valuable time and resources in areas that most likely won’t help you attain the goals you want to reach with your social media marketing plan.
- Strategy—Social media marketing is a lot more than just a laundry list of items that a company prints out on a marketing slick. Social media marketing, just like any other form of traditional or online marketing, needs a strategy. You need a well-thought-out plan with goals set in place so that you know where you want to be and how to get there.
- Involvement—It’s not just your social media marketing team that’s involved in engaging and participating in social media communities. Just about everyone in your company has some sort of stake—whether it’s the stories your customer service reps hear on the phone, or it’s people totally removed from marketing (your accounts payable department, for example) who have Facebook pages stating they work for you. Everyone in your company has some sort of involvement in your social media marketing strategy. Understanding that different levels of involvement all have differing affects is key to making sure you plan the right strategy for everyone in your company.
- Measurement—One of the biggest questions I hear when it comes to implementing a social media marketing strategy is, “How will I know if it’s successful?” I also like to put the questions out there of “How do you know if what you are doing is not successful and when do you know when to stop doing it?” Your social media marketing strategy needs to be measured. Measurement comes in many different forms, from website traffic to the number of retweets your content is getting. No two companies will measure the same things the same way. Success or failure is different for everyone.
Social media is my passion. I have found companies that understand how to harness the power that social media communities offer and have become extremely successful and usually have a loyal band of brand evangelists ready to promote them at a moments’ notice. Helping companies and marketers understand how to reach and engage their audiences through the power of social media is something I love to do, and I cringe when I see or hear so-called consultants selling social media services as if it were the next gimmick they need to get into.
Social media marketing isn’t a gimmick—it’s hard work that can be extremely engaging when implemented in the right way. Now more than ever, it’s crucial for companies to be where the questions and conversations are going on that affect their bottom line. Social media is the perfect way to do that.
My hope is that you find this book to be your guide to help you become successful in your social media marketing efforts and that it gives you both the foundation and roadmap to help you along the way to that goal. Thanks for reading!
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