How Has Marketing Changed in 2019?

How Has Marketing Changed in 2019?

Marketing is all about experimenting, testing, and trying new things that get the attention of buyers. Whether that is through television ads, radio, print, or social media channels, everyone just wants a little slice of attention.

According to Wikipedia, the first official, paid television advertisement in the United States was on July 1, 1941, over New York station WNBT before a baseball game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies.

The ad was for Bulova watches, and the company paid anywhere from $4.00 to $9.00 (reports vary). The ad displayed a WNBT test pattern made to look like a clock with the hands showing the time. The Bulova logo, with the phrase “Bulova Watch Time”, appeared in the lower right-hand quadrant of the test pattern while the second hand swept around the dial for one full minute. Approximately $5.00 for a full 60-second ad during prime-time television. Attention was cheap. The world has definitely changed!

Sales has always been about connecting and building relationships with those potential buyers. A salesperson’s job is to be likeable enough to form relationships with people and then establish trust and help that potential buyer make an informed decision.

I started my first business in 1995 and my sales and marketing activities consisted of spending hours down at Kinkos (now FedEx Stores) making copies of brochures to send to potential clients to try and get their attention. I would then spend hours dialing for dollars, making cold calls and follow up calls to set appointments. Those were the days before caller ID, and people actually answered their phones.

list of daily weekly social media activities

Our first website was built in 1997, which was just the brochure I had copied over at Kinkos, put online. Aside from designing a logo, business cards, and stationary with our company information across the top, I really don’t remember having many other “marketing” activities. I did write articles for a hardcopy newsletter that I mailed out quarterly and a few of my early clients published some of the articles in their hardcopy newsletters as well.

Today my sales and marketing activities have moved online. I don’t mail anything, but instead send links and videos. I don’t do much of anything in the way of actual sales calls. Instead I spend more time creating content that attracts people online and then our team spends time answering questions that companies have about setting up company Facebook business pages or how to optimize blog posts to be seen by more people.

As consumers we are influenced by digital marketing as we make decisions every day. When we want to go out to eat, we use our mobile devices to look up restaurants and book reservations on sites like OpenTable. We research hotels, plumbers, dentists, and even funeral homes on Google or Yelp, and then talk about the service we get on Twitter, Yelp, Trip Advisor or Facebook.

Businesses don’t all like these tools, and it’s usually the businesses that either don’t know how to use them or the ones that have poor reviews listed on them.

It’s a wild, wild, social world we live in. Our in-person lives, or IRL, are tightly connected to our virtual and online worlds. We are connected 24/7 365 days a year. The social world doesn’t sleep, and it doesn’t take vacations. Or at least if it does take a vacation, it is well documented on Instagram and when it sleeps, it’s probably using an app like Pzizz or Calm to help guide them into slumber.  

AND IT’S STARTING TO CHANGE AGAIN

Today’s consumer is so accustomed to jumping on social media channels to connect with a brand for customer service, that we are seeing a few interesting changes coming. The expectation that there will be a real person responding to a request online within minutes has gone up.

We love living a digital life, but now we want high-touch service that comes with the digital world. We are using digital devices with artificial intelligence to help us connect with content and people. Think of Alexa, Siri or Google to name a few (They really need to give Google’s AI device a real name. Perhaps Gracie).  A JWT Intelligence/Mindshare study of U.K. Consumers found that 36% love their voice assistant so much they wish it were a real person.

I have to admit, I do wish my Alexa device had arms and legs and could follow me around and bring me coffee. Now with the devices adding video screens, we can do video calls as we cook and sing karaoke-style to our favorite song and I’m guessing it won’t be long before we can summon the digital customer service agent from our cable company via video to help us walk through resetting our cable box. What am I talking about… we won’t really still have cable will we?

There are other signs of wanting to go back in time and humanize our technology-filled lives. Today it’s very retro and cool to have vinyl records and Fujifilm’s Instax cameras with instant film (think mini Polaroid). We see more people buying board games, taking up knitting, and then posting about it all on Instagram. Our worlds are colliding.

Brands must figure out how to be more responsive, with real humans, working on digital channels. People don’t trust as much as they did even a few years ago. According to the 2017 and 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer, consumers have lost connection. They no longer trust brands, or political systems. Instead of looking to the large entities, people are now seeking out smaller intimate groups online that they feel connected with.

The rise in unique Facebook Groups is a great example of this. We all need to explore ways to deliver a fantastic customer experience and to connect with our consumers in a more human way.  Read more on this in our post, “Facebook Algorithm Changes: 3 Things Your Business Must Do” for more ideas on how to bring back the human touch.

Marketing has fundamentally changed. No longer is it just about getting people to look at our billboards or websites. It’s no longer about interrupting people to LOOK AT ME, although many still approach it that way. Today, marketing is about creating something or some things that people are drawn to because they want it. They want to be smarter, more informed, more popular. Marketing is about drawing people closer to our virtual street corner to engage with us and get to know, like, and trust us. We get to know and like them as well and then trust that they will buy whatever it is we are selling, even if we are selling ideas.

How are you seeing marketing change in 2019? I'd love to hear from you below in the comments. If you would like more tips on keeping up with all of the changes, jump into our DIYsocial Facebook group.

list of daily weekly social media activities
7 Ways Your Hotel Can Win With Social Media

7 Ways Your Hotel Can Win With Social Media

Hotel websites are very similar. They all have the same stock photos of beautiful people sitting in beautiful lobbies or the typical hotel bedroom and the navigation panel on the side to book the room.  To the average consumer, your hotel website does not do much to differentiate itself from the others.  However, there are several things your property can be doing with social media to blow every competitor out of the water.

Social media for hotels, social business

Here are 7 Ways Your Hotel Can Win With Social:

Listen to the social vine and have your hotel engage early

I don't mean to listen to someone saying they are thinking of making a trip to Denver and you send a 20% off promo code. I mean use Twitter's geo-location feature to listen for conversations going on in your city and then jump in and engage in the conversation with fun facts about the city, events that might be taking place that week or “DID YOU KNOW” trivia about your property or area. Ask what brings them to Denver and share a favorite restaurant or place of interest with them. Let them know you can help in any way possible AND oh, by the way, you want to offer them a special deal only available to your Twitter friends. Don't offer the same worn out deal that they can find on any travel site.

Have your “Social Concierge” welcome a guest BEFORE they arrive

Sure, after booking a hotel room many hotels send a confirmation email, but why not encourage them to connect with you on Twitter,  Facebook, Instagram, or any other sites your Social Concierge is connecting with guests.  Show them you are on duty and ready to make their experience extra special. You can now extend the guest experience from the booking to the arrival, and of course, all the way through to their next booking.

social media in hotels

Provide helpful information to guests

Have the Social Concierge provide guests with seasonal weather information suggested packing items like winter coats or fall sweaters. Put together a list of things ahead of time for each season and then place the link in a tweet or Facebook post to them. On Twitter and Facebook, you can continue the relationship building and find out if they are coming for business or perhaps a special occasion that you can now help make more productive or more special.

  1. Send a link with local events happening in your town and suggested sites to see. Send a list of restaurants in your area and shopping malls around. The concierge at the desk isn't the only one who can help them make plans.

  2. Let your guests know you're online and ready to answer any questions, before during or after their stay. This can personalize the experience and nip any problems in the bud. It can also relieve your front desk team from some of the traffic that gathers to ask simple questions.

hospitality and social media

Watch for SOCIAL check-ins

Be sure and have your social “check-in deals set up” and watch those check-ins daily to also welcome folks who may have come into your social range through these channels. A person is always stunned when they check in on a social channel and someone replies to them with a WELCOME note. It shows you are listening.

Don't send a typical survey after a guest leaves

These are impersonal and most guests feel as if it goes into a shoebox under the GM's desk anyway, never to be looked at or acted upon. You do the work. Reach out and ask them via Twitter or Facebook, if their stay was excellent. Get specific feedback and if the guest is delighted, then you can ask if they'd be willing to share the sentiments on TripAdvisor, Google My Biz or Facebook recommendations. Encourage them to share any favorite photos or memories from their trip. Keep the relationship growing!

What are some other ways you can reach out through the social channels that guests are flooding, to create a more unique customers experience?  Have you had any hotel or retail store do something creative that WOW'd you?  We'd love to hear.

 

Connect with Gina on Twitter.

How can we reach out and help YOU connect to your world?

Building Your Personal and Professional Brand

Building Your Personal and Professional Brand

how to build personal brand

When we hear the word BRAND, images may pop into your head of the Starbucks mermaid, that Smiling “A” that means Amazon or the little Apple with a bite out of it. These are such recognizable brands, that there is no question what they are “known for.” How did they do it? How do we become “known” for something?

The first thing to realize is your brand is not necessarily what you say about yourself or your company–although you can absolutely help shape it. Just because you put something on your website or social media bio, doesn’t mean that others will believe you. You have to prove it… and have others share that same proof for you.

Your brand is what others say or feel about you. You may say you are an expert in the real estate arena, the animal photography industry or in Italian women’s shoes (in which case you and I should be best friends), but if you aren’t putting out some sort of content or product that people talk about, share or otherwise come in contact with, your desired brand will have a tough time becoming known.

building personal brand

WHO ARE YOU?

To begin crafting and influencing your personal or professional brand you have to start by identifying what you want to be known for. Notice I didn’t say what you are good at. Many of us have talents or skills that we don’t even want people to know about. My ability to train dogs to roll over and do the moonwalk is not a skill I am ever going to want to be “known for.”

Perhaps we don’t enjoy doing something, or we have “squiggled” or pivoted on to a new career track. We have to start by creating a list of skills and attributes that you want people to associate with you and your brand. When people are talking to their friends or co-workers and one of these topics come up, you want them to say, “I know who’s an expert at this” or “I know who you need to talk to.”

 

WHO or WHAT ARE YOU BECOMING?

Now, what are the skills you’d like to be known for but haven’t yet mastered?  Is there an area you’re developing? This is important when you’re starting over, re-entering the workforce, or making a pivot in your career.  Don’t minimize these skills and don’t wait until you have that proverbial 10,000 hours of expertise before you start to weave it into your branding plan. Finish this sentence:

I am becoming ___________.  

Starbucks started out as a coffee roaster and BECAME the “third place” for people to come and hang out. Lululemon started out as a maker of surf and skateboard shorts and BECAME synonymous with yoga-pants. The Knot started by writing articles for unique and counter-culture wedding ideas and then BECAME the go-to planning site for all things “wedding!” What are you becoming?

 

START BEFORE YOU’VE ARRIVED

When you are working in a new area and BECOMING the expert or resource, you want to share this journey with the world. Jump into the conversation. Share what you are learning and doing. If you are launching a product, bring us along on your journey to involve us in your process. We love to come along when someone is learning, growing, and going somewhere we want to go as well.  If I am on that same journey or wanting to begin, your content will inspire and educate me, even if you have not “arrived.”

I know you can’t get great until you get started, so the longer you wait to begin, the longer it will take for you to get great. Start. Learn all you can, and share the nuggets of learning along the way.

 

avatar persona

WHO WILL YOUR BRAND REACH?

The next step is to understand who your brand wants to reach. Who is that ideal person that will connect and “get you?” This is important because it will shape HOW you share your expertise and brand attributes. Go beyond the “what gender, age, and income level define my ideal client.” Dive into the psychographics as well. What is your ideal customer interested in? What do they hate? What are the things your ideal customer would be doing during the day? How about on weekends? What does he or she read or watch on television? Where do you think she shops? How about online? What problems does she have that you can help her with? What are her pain and frustration points?

This may seem unnecessary, but it is so important to get this right. If you try and create content for everyone, you will create content for no one. The more targeted you can be with your products, services, or content, the easier it is to attract the right audience and the greater loyalty someone will have for you.

WHAT WILL YOU CREATE AND SHARE?

Content comes in so many forms. Written articles, blog posts, whitepapers, videos, podcasts, webinars. What will you create to solve a problem for that ideal person you identified earlier? If you need a starting point, simply write down the top FAQs your ideal customer would be asking Google, SIRI, or Alexa. Now take each of those questions and answer them in different formats—blog posts, articles on other websites, videos, podcasts, webinars, infographics, etc.

Be sure to stay focused on your overall goal for your brand.  This doesn’t mean you can’t share any other content on your social sites or that you can’t be involved in other side projects, but if someone you don’t know, looks at your body of work, can they tell what your area of expertise is? If you suddenly post political rants or lots of information on other topics, it begins to dilute or pollute your brand.  Do a self-audit. Scan down a page of your social media channels. What would someone say you were known for if they looked at it? Would YOU follow YOU?

 

WHERE WILL YOU SHARE IT?

Today there are so many channels to share your content. You can share your content on websites, blogs, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Medium, and Podcast channels and so many more. The question is often, “Do I need to be on all of them?” Absolutely not. I like to say, “Choose one and NAIL IT, before you decide to SCALE IT!” Select the social channels that you believe your audience is most active on. If you’re not sure, there are ways to do a bit of research first.

Where is the best place to post content

Look across the different social channels and search for your peers, competitors, and customers. Where do you find them hanging out? Are there groups they are participating in? Search industry and conference hashtags on each channel. This can pull up content that can help you discover where you might want to be found as well.

Start with one or two social channels and be consistent. Don’t spread yourself so thin that you can’t keep up with it. Sharing and participating on social media channels is more than just blasting your content out to the world. It requires you to participate in the community as well. Comment on the content of others. Ask questions in groups or share your expertise there when others ask questions. It’s the “social” part of social media.

 

HOW OFTEN DO YOU NEED TO HAVE CONTENT OUT IN FRONT OF PEOPLE?

This is another common question. There isn’t a hard and fast rule, but there is a direct correlation between frequency and the number of people who will be drawn to your content. Obviously, if the content is not good, people won’t share it or want to consume it, but even good content produced once ever 3-6 months is not going to do you much good if you are trying to establish a brand.

Many people want to be known like Seth Godin, Daniel Pink, Marie Forleo, or Adam Grant, but they don’t want to do the work those people do when it comes to creating and sharing content. The people who are considered thought leaders in their industries are sharing video content, blog posts, writing books, newsletter content, podcasts, and everything in between.

Start with a goal to write or create one piece of good content per week. This can be you answering a question or giving your opinion on a topic that has come up at work or in the news. Work to create a habit to write or record something every day, even if it doesn’t get published or used. By doing this daily, you will begin to get better and you will end up sharing more content more often, and in turn, you will become known for this.

time for social media

WHAT IF YOU DON’T HAVE TIME?

I get it. We’re all busy and our time is more limited than ever. This is why it’s hard to become a “thought leader” or well-known brand. If it were easy, everyone would do it. To stand out requires sacrifice somewhere. You can hire someone to do the writing and sharing for you (hint hint…that’s what we do at SocialKNX), or you can put in an extra hour each morning or each evening to do what others won’t do.

You can sacrifice evening television time for writing time. You can trade a couple hours of sleeping in on the weekends and get up to work on your personal or professional brand. When someone asks, where they should spend their time, my answer is, “it depends.” I can tell you where NOT to spend your time. Don’t waste it watching television. Don’t waste it attending meetings you don’t have to be in (don’t even get me started on this one).

Become a high productivity content creator. While you are waiting in lines, at appointments, at soccer practice, pull out your phone or notebook and jot down ideas. I love using Evernote for this. I have notebooks in there for podcast guest ideas, blog post ideas, Alexa and Google Briefing tips to create. When I sit down to create I don’t have to waste time thinking of ideas.

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

Now it’s your turn. What will you create to begin crafting that brand? What are you BECOMING? I’d love to hear in the comments below or on any social channel. Connect with me –> @GinaSchreck on any social channel and tell me what you are becoming. I can’t wait to hear!

 

 

 

Starting a Blog or Podcast – How Do You Measure Success?

starting a blog

You're thinking of starting a blog or podcast but you’re wondering how to ensure its success. No one wants to spend the time and energy creating content for a blog, a podcast, a video or social media posts for that matter if it’s not going to be successful. So how do you start producing content and ensure they are successful?

FIRST THINGS FIRST. LET’S LOOK AT THE WHY.

Why do you want to start a blog? Why would you start a podcast? Some are in it for the money. They want advertisers and sales of products from their blog, videos or podcasts. Some want to show potential customers their industry knowledge or authority. While still others create content because they want to leave a mark. They want their family members, for generations, to read their stories or hear their experiences. You need to understand your own WHY before you begin and keep that in the forefront of your content creation journey to stay focused and not be swayed by either shiny objects or other people telling you all the other things you should be doing.

WHAT IS SUCCESS FOR A BLOG OR PODCAST?

This question is hard to answer because it depends on why you are starting the blog or podcast in the first place.

Your consumers are online. I don’t care what industry you are in, people use Google, SIRI, Alexa, Facebook, and everywhere else to get their questions answered. “Google, how often should I drain the water out of my swimming pool” “SIRI where is the best place to find flowers for my mom?” “Google, what is the difference between social media marketing and content marketing?” People have questions and thankfully, most of the time, Google (and other search engines) has the answers.

how to start a business blog

If your business is producing (or creating) content to answer the questions your customers are searching for, it is likely that they will find you online. Now the question is, do you want 10,000 people to read your blog and leave riveting comments or do you want 100 people to find your content and 50 of them want to do business with you? Which blog is more successful?

One person wants a blog that is reaching millions, so she can attract sponsors or advertisers. Another blogger might want to share his story of adoption to encourage another family struggling with the same situation. These two bloggers are measuring success very differently.

A friend of mine creates lots of fun and interesting video content sharing their family’s journey. The purpose was to let others see the personal side of his life while he has other videos that are all about business. If you are having fun creating the content, and you are getting better each time, isn’t that also a success? Of course, it is.

HOW TO START A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS BLOG

I’m going to focus on a business blog because the ultimate goal is usually to attract new customers. When you are blogging for personal reasons or to encourage others, you will start differently.

For a business blog, start with the top FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) in your industry. What are those questions that you get asked over and over again? Don’t use industry jargon that only you use. Write the questions the way your customers would type them into Google or speak them into SIRI (even though she wouldn’t understand them).

Now, take each question and write a blog post to answer them. Then turn on that video recorder and create a short video answering the same questions. Now flip the switch on your podcast recorder and do the same. Do you see how that will help you get found? You could be blogging, podcasting, and creating video content on the same topics and they might be found by different people searching in different places. [Read: How to become KNOWN]

HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO WRITE ON MY BLOG?

Google loves fresh content as much as I love a fresh cupcake! You can’t create these answers once and stop creating content. If you are a binge content creator, it will not be as effective as if you created weekly or even monthly content over a longer period of time. Today’s search engines want to know that you are in it for the long haul and they want to see that you have more than one small articles on a website about a topic. The more content you have answering these types of questions, the more they see you as a reliable resource.

Continue to create different versions of your answers. Create social media posts that ask the question and link to your blog, podcast or video. Add to your original content when you learn new information or have updates for it. Link from one blog post to your video or vice-versa. This starts creating a great web of content that shows your authority on the topics.

HOW DO I GET PEOPLE TO FIND MY BLOG CONTENT?

Once you have created your answers to the most asked questions, now you want people to find it. I’m going to give you the simple overview here:

  1. Tell others about it—email and social media
  2. Make sure you have “optimized it” –SEO elements on your blog content
  3. Tell others about it … again –Repeat all or part of step one.

Most people subscribe to Kevin Costner’s philosophy, in Field of Dreams. That is they believe, “If you write it they will come.” That sadly is not the case. With almost 2 BILLION websites online as of 2018 (according to Internet live stats), and an estimated 152 million blogs (this number is hard to track since Tumblr has stats on this and some websites have blogs that are not always formatted or seen as a blog.) There’s just a whole lot of content out there.

If you want people to find and subscribe to your blog, Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others will certainly help, but you have to tell others about it.

Let your email subscribers know about each new post. Get the word out on social each time you hit publish and then next week do it again, both with new content and reminding them of your older content. [Read more on HOW TO PROMOTE YOUR BLOG]

Watch this and PLAN TO BE FINDABLE BEFORE YOU WRITE


WHAT ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL BLOG, VIDEO OR FUN PODCAST?

So what about that personal content you want to write or create just to share stories and inspiration? Does it matter how many people read it? Not really. Sure, our ego wants the views. Our ego wants to have people share comments on how our writing has impacted them, but if we are creating this content to share from our heart, someone will be impacted even if they don’t stick around to tell us.

I write here for business and then a few years back I started a personal blog (Gina Unplugged), just to have a place to share stories that I want to pass down to my family. I was delighted to hear from people who said they loved one of my stories or they related to something I wrote, but I don’t do anything to optimize these posts and promote them very lightly on social media.

We can’t get great until we get started and the more we write, the better we get. The more we record ourselves on audio for podcasts or on video, the better and more comfortable we get behind the mic and camera.

SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

If you are ready to create content for your business, don’t wait another week. Start writing, start recording and get your business found. If you are just getting started or still feeling a bit intimidated, start that personal blog or YouTube channel just to get those ideas and thoughts out of your head.

For more tips and tools check out our 15-Day Blog Challenge in the DIYsocial community.

If you're ready to be more strategic with your blog posts, download our BLOG PLANNER to plan your blog topics and SEO elements before you begin writing.

blog planner

7 Skills Every Social Media Marketer Needs

7 Skills Every Social Media Marketer Needs

skills social media marketers need

 
Everyone thinks they can “do social media.” If someone has a Facebook or Instagram account, they think they're suddenly qualified to be a social media marketer.  Today, digital marketing requires a variety of skills just to survive in this ever-changing industry.  To do more than survive, but to stand out and shine, these are 7 skills social media marketers need to master. You may have all these skills yourself, or you may team up or hire out for some of them.

Here are 7 skills that I feel every social media marketer needs to stand out:

1. Great writing skills

So, this one seems so obvious, and yet I still feel this is an area most of us are lacking. To write well online is very different from writing essays or text messages. I see horrifying grammar and spelling all over websites and social media posts. This shouldn’t be happening with all the auto-correct tools like Grammarly out there. By-the-way, Grammarly has a free tool that allows you to load your entire post or article to have it checked or you can add the Chrome extension to your browser and have the Grammar Police follow you EVERYWHERE on the web! Find them… use them…and start writing better!
 
The other side of that coin is the far-too-formal writing. Our English teachers must have beaten us all in school, because most people still write as if they are writing a research paper, instead of speaking to their ideal audience. On Social media or blog posts, it is best to write like you would speak… conversationally. Sit across from the table with a cup of coffee and talk to people through your writing. It’s a social channel, not a term paper. Check out HemingwayApp for tips on making your writing more readable.

2. Customer Service Skills

Someone just asked me today, what skill is hardest to hire for. It is definitely customer service. Everyone is a “people person” in an interview until they have to deal with PEOPLE. In social media marketing, you have to be prepared to take the hits online from people who are hiding behind a keyboard and want to vent. If you work in an agency, you will also have to take the hits from the customers who don’t like something you wrote or the color of the image you’ve used.
 
When you own a business, you are willing to go further for customers to solve a problem, versus someone who is “just working” on that job. I get it. You have to find people who want the best for clients to be managing your social media. It can get ugly online.

3. Basic SEO Understanding

While you may not know how to optimize your website using tools like SMRush or MOZ, but you should know the basics of SEO as a social media marketer. There are lots of blog posts out there that give more information on this. A great one is Keyword Research for SEO, by Yoast, but there are some basics that you should know if you are writing content for your website or writing any social media content. Know what ALT tags and keywords are. You need to be tagging your images on blog and website content.
 
You should know what your main keywords and phrases are that you want to be found with. What are the top questions people are typing into Google or other search engines for your industry? What content do you need to write so it comes up as a match to those questions? These are keywords and keyword phrases. You not only want to learn how search engines match your content, to the questions people are typing, but you also should start considering the questions people are SPEAKING into search (Google, Alexa, and Siri).
 
As you write content always keep your reader or searcher in mind. How are you providing valuable content to answer their questions? What clues are you giving Google on what your content is about? ALT tags give clues in every image, as does the title of that image.

skills for social media marketing

4. An Eye for Design

With all content, we want to make sure it is visually appealing and able to capture someone’s attention in a matter of seconds. People don’t read anymore…they scroll. As social media posts go by, it’s the images that stop the eye traffic. When your images are boring, corny, not sized right, or missing altogether, your content will get fewer eyeballs on it.
 
There are lots of beautiful photo sites and ways to manipulate them to make them POP. We now have tools like Canva that make creating beautiful graphics a snap. If you don’t have an eye for design, you might be trying to stick 150 words in yellow font across a dark blue square. Stab me in the eyes already! The good news is, there are hundreds of great templates, and you can even take free mini-courses on design right from Canva.
 

5. An Eye for Details

With so many platforms and so much going on at once, it can be easy to slip up and schedule the wrong content on the wrong platform. Without an eye for detail, you may not catch the misspelling of the company owner's name on a very important blog post. YIKES… it happens. Too many companies still throw the job of social media management to someone who already has 47 tasks to do each day. Most people think social marketing is easy. You might be the person trying to do it all. You know, it can be a full-time job!
 
Social marketing is about putting your brand out there in front of the world…quickly. You don't have time to have an editing committee review every social post (and I do know for a fact there are such things). Social moves too fast and the posts have a short life span, but you need to have a keen attention to detail.

If you're a person who moves fast and doesn't pause before hitting that send, or post button, you'll hear about it from your readers. How do I know this? Well… let's just say with social media, it is going to happen to the best of us. Everyone turns into an editor as soon as they read anyone else’s content, so be sure to re-reads posts, even out loud, one more time before publishing. It will at least cut down the number of times you find that goofy typo right after you hit, SEND.

 
Details also come in the form of schedules in this industry. There is usually a lot of content going out on different platforms and you may be waiting on graphics or webinar dates and links. Things are best when planned in advance and put on a scheduler with reminders. Using content calendars or team tools like Asana or Trello is almost essential today.
 

6. Willingness … NO … A BURNING DESIRE to Learn

This skill is probably the most important in social media marketing. Because there are always new tools, platforms, and techniques, you will always have to be learning. It's one thing to be willing to learn, but you must WANT to learn. You must LOVE the process of learning. Don't sit back and wait for someone to spoon-feed you new information. As a marketer today, you must have an insatiable appetite for learning and experimenting
 
When I meet someone in this industry, I ask, “what are some of your favorite blogs or podcasts?” If they don’t have an answer, it tells me they won't last long or go very far. It's an industry like few others in that it changes daily and the only way to keep up is to be in a constant learning mode.
 
A common question is, “What book can I pick up to learn social media?” By the time a digital marketing book is published and sits on the shelf of a bookstore, it's outdated! I was the technical editor for the Complete Idiots Guide to Social Media and as we would finish one chapter, the one prior already needed changes. Conferences, podcasts, videos, classes, and blog posts are the way to keep up in this industry. Stay thirsty my friend!
thirst for learning social media skills

7. Adventurous Spirit

While this last one isn’t necessarily a SKILL, it is a required attribute for a successful social media marketer. Be willing to pick up and try new things. As you hear of a new platform or tool, jump in and start playing with it. Create accounts to check out how others are using it and what is going on in there. They don’t all pan out, but you will always learn something and you will meet interesting people along the way.
 
In 2009, I was working with teams at IBM who were meeting in a virtual space called, Second Life. It was the craziest thing I had ever seen. It was amazing and creative. I would log in as an avatar and we could share slides, speak to one another and learn in incredible virtual environments. I met people in there that I still interact with regularly, and have even done business with a few of them. Never hesitate to jump in to take a look at different tools. Be adventurous.
social media tools second life
 
Ok, these are the 7 skills that I have identified. I'd love to hear from you. What other skills do you feel are necessary to be successful in digital marketing? Which of these skills do you need to work on the most? I’d love to know.
 
As a social media marketing agency in Colorado, we employ a variety of people that possess these skills. If you need to augment your own skillset, give us a call…or a tweet! If you’re interested in learning—jump into our DIYsocial Community where we share regular tips, tools, and resources to help you stay ahead in this social media marketing space.
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