Social media guru and specialist Cian Corbett spoke to us and provided some enlightening insights on the power and capabilities inherent in social. Cian answered the five questions marketing managers are afraid to ask…

1. Is social media marketing better for B2C or B2B enterprises?

‘Theres a common misconception that social media is only for B2C just because theres so many businesses doing it and seeing great results. On a lesser known scale enterprises that harness social media in B2B relations are in fact also reaping the rewards. I think this idea and misconception stems from the fact that the poster boy of social media is Facebook which essentially is a consumer led platform.’

‘Social media will work really well if objectives are clearly laid out and defined. Marketing managers need to ask themselves what is the driving force behind integrating social media in your business operations. Is the focus on creating brand awareness, driving traffic to your website, generating leads and so forth. That being said social media has the ability achieve all these deliverables for both B2C and B2B enterprises.’ 

2. In terms of brand management, what advice would you give to brand managers seeking to take control of their brand online through social media marketing?

‘When I was lecturing in NUI Maynooth there was an expression- You are who google says you are. That expression really sums up the age of the internet. Regardless of how nice you are, how good you are etc… if it’s not written down somewhere on the internet, it doesn’t exist. Companies need to monitor public perception online through setting up social listening tools. It is essential to closely listen as to what is being said online about your given product, service or business. Marketing managers also need to ask themselves what controls have they in place to monitor online conversations pertaining to their brand.’

‘Setting up of a responsive structure is of crucial importance. Three simple steps marketers can implement include:
1. Do a web crawl
2. Set up google alert under your companies name
3. Enforce social listening tools

3. What would you say to brand managers wary of incorporating social media into their marketing strategy?

‘Social media doesn’t create negative sentiment, it uncovers it. Marketers need to view it as an enlightening analytics tool. It should be utilised as a component of ongoing marketing relations. Listening online adds to your brand awareness and allows you to keep up to date in real time about online communities perception of your brand.’

4. What type of social media converts best?

‘This Depends on your objectives. Understanding your whole digital marketing ecosystem and what role social media will play within that. Marketers find it hard to quantify the inherent value in social. In order to quantify its contribution to sales or ROI ask yourself what role it will play:
– Building brand awareness
– Customer Engagement
– Lead generation
– Data capture
– Growing website traffic

5. What are some common social media marketing mistakes businesses can make?

‘A recurring problem that constantly re-emerges is the failure to create content specific for social. Taking the time to develop content specific for social will ultimately affect your bottomline positively. Furthermore, your social community will respond well to this customer-centric approach.’

‘Another common mistake made by social media marketers is failing to keep copy short. The fast paced nature of the digitised world has left online audiences with an ever decreasing short attention span. For brands to grab attention, copy editors must resist writing long in-depth articles. Erik Qualman, the world renowned keynote speaker on social media famously commented that the “6 second Vine is the new 30 second advertisement”.’

‘Short content should be balanced with sharp and eye catching images.
As the old adage goes, a picture speaks a thousand words. Injecting your marketing material with sharp imagery will greatly increase the likelihood of online audiences stopping to read your content.’

6. Finally, what are some general tips for social media success?

‘I would suggest the following key pieces of advice’
View social as an opportunity. Its a fantastic new gateway to expand your global reach, foster greater relationships with your customer base and
Inject personality into your brand through sharp and short content.
Allocate time to social media. Understand your key objectives and create content relevant to this. Create a weekly content calender to ensure your .
Use analytics tool – to create a picture of measurable results. Ensure your speaking to your key demographic and deliver content to reflect this.’

Cian Corbett is the Client Director with Radical, specialists in devising social media strategies. Cian is an experienced social media lecturer and trainer having designed and delivered Social Media courses for NUI Maynooth, Olas, Sureskills and Digital Marketing Institute.

Listen to the original podcast here: