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#SocialChat – The Hidden Value of Social Media Marketing

Welcome to the recap of the #SocialChat discussion from Monday April, 8th.  For those of you already familiar with the chat and our blogging style, feel free to scroll on down the page for the highlights of the chat.  For those of you who are new to #SocialChat, let me give you a little introduction.

Hash tag Social Chat

So What is #SocialChat?

SocialChat is a hashtag facilitated discussion group on Twitter.  For the last two years Alan K’necht and I have been organizing this opportunity for social media professionals to gather and discuss the best practices for marketing via social platforms.

When we first started this adventure, the world of twitter chats still belonged to the uber geeky class of tweet-aholics.  There were just a handful of organized chats, like #SEOChat, in the beginning.  But we saw huge value and potential in real-time discussions like this and wanted to provide a place for people to discuss the continuous changes and shifts in social media marketing.

The team with #SEOChat was so excited about a social media focused chat that they helped us with a great launch.  They graciously offered us an opportunity to announce the chat on Search Marketing Weekly.  People like Ash Buckles and Jen Lopez were some of our first participants.

What I wrote two years ago still holds true:

“As marketers who encourage and train businesses to engage in this powerful medium, we possess a great power, the power to reach people in a very personal way. With that power comes the responsibility to respect the community of users and their communication space.”

With that in mind, I give you the highlights of the #SocialChat discussion of the “hidden” value of social media.

This Week on #SocialChat

Who’s run into the question: We don’t need to do Social, we get enough quality traffic from SEO?

Several of the participants indicated that they ran into this one and other similar questions fairly often.

#social chat excerpt one
I am mostly to blame for this question to the group.  I have been running into several instances of business executives trying to understand exactly where their web traffic comes from.  One client is convinced that the money they spend on adwords is driving all of the traffic to their site, and they are afraid that if they shift money away from that they will lose customers.

The fact that all of this communication is driven online is still very uncomfortable for many at the executive level.  They have spent all of their time building successful businesses and find it very difficult to justify spending time to learn about a website that their kids use.  What we have failed to communicate so far is the very old school marketing principals that underpin the digital media.  Decision makers don’t see the fact that social interactions make up a large portion of the touches that lead to a decision to search for something that leads a customer to their door.

#social chat excerpt two

Most business owners still see social media strictly as other spaces and pages to keep up to date.  And most of them hand off the social media responsibilities to a young intern who knows how to log in and post to all that stuff.

#social chat excerpt three

Educating potential clients is our best business weapon.

How do you explain the relationship between successful SEO & Social in today’s reality?

#social chat twitter excerpt four

Factor into client discussions that executives, most likely, have only a very basic understanding of SEO and that information is probably 3 or 4 years old.  We live with this industry and its shifts every day.  Our clients don’t.  But social can be explained in terms of referral links to help the C-suite grasp the search value and open the floodgates to educating them about the word of mouth marketing aspects of community management.

There is far more value in social media that just brand awareness, and every bit of it is trackable and quantifiable.

#SocialChat runs from 9:00 to 10:00 PM Eastern every Monday.  Join me and my co-host Alan K’necht as we pick the brains of industry thought leaders.

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