Hierarchy of Social Marketing
I came across a question last night on www.linkedin.com that I thought was interesting: "What's the Ideal approach to do Social Media Marketing and what are the benefits?".
So, I went to John Jantsch’s, (the founder of Duct Tape Marketing) blog to do so some research. That’s right, I went to a blog to do so some research. That’s just one of the many reasons to have a blog; it can soon be a go to place for research as you start doing it consistently.
So this is what I found on 2 posts that help shed some light on the subject:
Consider these highlights from a wonderfully comprehensive research project developed by Universal McCann.
73% of online users read a blog
57% join social networks
45% have started a blog
83% have viewed a video online
39% subscribe to RSS feeds
36% think more positively about companies that have blogs
Source: Universal McCann Wave3 research into social media
Kind of makes you want to run out and start writing a blog, doesn’t it? Well, if it doesn’t then go back and read that last point again. 36% think more positively about companies that have blogs.
The Hierarchy of Social Marketing
I think one of the things that small business marketers struggle with around the entire topic of social marketing is trying to jump into the new thing without enough analysis of what they should focus on. I happen to think this is an important, evolving and essential area of marketing for small businesses, but there’s a hierarchy to it. In other words, there is a logical progression of utilization that comes about much like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Nature.
Social Marketing Hierarchy: As Maslow theorized, the ultimate potential of your marketing or human self-actualization couldn’t be achieved until the most basic human psychological needs - breathing, eating, sleeping, sex were first met. (Yes, I’m about ready to compare blogging to sex.) In fact safety, love, and esteem all come before transcendence. Now, before I edge too close to the deep end here, I’m simply comparing what I think is a bit like progressing up the social marketing hierarchy.
Most small business owners should look at the following progression or hierarchy as they move deeper into social marketing tactics. So, jump in, but do it in this order and don’t move on until you have the basics of each stage down and working for you.
Blogging - the foundation of the pyramid - read blogs (Google Reader or Bloglines), comment on blogs and then blog. This is the doorway to all other social marketing - WordPress, TypePad, Blogger
RSS - aggregate and filter content around subjects and use RSS technology as a tool to help you re-purpose, re-publish and create content - Some tools: Feedburner, Google News and Mysyndicaat
Social Search - this is often ignored in this discussion but I think it’s become very important for small business owners. Directories that publish reviews from customers - good and bad. You can participate and should stimulate and manage your reputation here. Insider Pages, Google Maps, Yahoo Local, Local.com, Judy’s Book, Yelp
Social Bookmarking - tagging content to and participating in social bookmarking communities can be a great way to open up more channels to your business as well as generate extra search traffic, but it takes work - del.icio.us, Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Mixx, Small Business Brief
Social Networking - branching out to take advantage of the numbers of potential prospects that you might find in sites like Facebook or MySpace will frustrate at least as a business tool if you don’t have many of the above needs met. These networks take time to understand and thrive on ideas and content. You’ve got to have much to share if you wish to build a business case. The good news is that industry and idea specific sites for everything from book lovers to green living are springing up every day. Here’s an enormous list of social networking sites from Mashable
Micro - I’ve lumped some of the more experimental social tools into the edge trend of micro, social, real-time communication that will likely only confuse most small business owners. The confusion is not because they can’t figure out how to make them work, it’s just not obvious why they would spend the time. I think Maslow suggested the self-actualization was a place that most might never reach and in social marketing terms Twitter, Thwirl, Plurk and FriendFeed might be some sort of sick transcendence.
So get out there and start blogging - you never know when your blog will start to become a place people/prospects go to find good answers to questions.
-Troy, Utah's Duct Tape Marketing Coach
Quote of the Day-"Alone we can do little; together we can do much."