The 3 Pillars of Social Marketing from Michael Lazerow, Marcel LeBrun, & Peter Goodman

More than 5,000 marketers from around the globe have gathered in Indianapolis for Connections 2013. The seventh annual event is hosted by ExactTarget, now part of the family.

connections social keynoteAnchoring Thursday’s sessions was the social keynote, featuring the leaders of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud social applications, Michael Lazerow, CEO and founder of Buddy Media, and now CMO of Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud, Marcel LeBrun, CEO of Radian6 and now SVP, Products, Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud, and Peter Goodman, CEO and founder of and now VP of Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud. Kevin Espinosa, Social Media Manager at Caterpillar, joined them on stage.

These leaders shared the three pillars of social marketing.

social listening“Social listening is actually something that transforms your company at the mindset level.” – Marcel LeBrun

“The seed of the idea that started Radian6 was that the movement of ideas was changing and are now flowing through the social web,” says Lebrun. “And this will be an important thing for companies to understand, as ideas flow in this new way.”

Social listening is actually something that transforms your company at the highest mindset level, not just for the social or broader marketing team. “When you have a relationship with a friend, are you listening to gather information or are you listening to show that you care?” says LeBrun. “It’s the same with customers. Listening has to transform every interaction.”

Content Marketing
content marketing“No social marketing team would be doing their job if they weren’t doing it in a collaborative way.” –Michael Lazerow

“The whole idea behind Buddy Media was that the opening up of social platforms would usher in a new way of how you connect with people,” says Lazerow.

In a world where billions of people are on social networks, it’s not enough to have a website, an app or an email list. You need to publish content everywhere, where your customers are hanging out. And it’s not only getting content published, but showing what content is working.

Content marketing fits into the idea that you can use it combined with listening, and other data points like purchase history and customer service interactions to help create a unified view of the customer. You take that customer on a journey and activate across all channels. “That is where the magic will happen,” says Lazerow.

It’s not a surprise that every brand is investing in content that matters. It’s crucial that you build not just systems of record in marketing, but systems of engagement. And content is the weapon that will be used. Content is the glue that will keep us bonded with customers.

Being able to get the right content and story to the right person at the right time is often the difference between success and failure.

“If you are spending hard earned advertising dollars, you want to make sure it’s working so you can spend it better.” – Peter Goodman

“ started when Facebook’s ad product was in its infancy,” says Goodman. “We built a product that is a self serve platform for brands to build their social ad campaigns at scale.”

One of the amazing opportunities for the many email marketers at Connections is that Facebook has a way to target people based on their email address. So when you look at the Marketing Cloud social products coming together with ExactTarget, it shows the massive opportunity. Marketers can use to connect their email lists with things like Facebook’s custom audiences product.

“Social has changed digital advertising,” says Goodman. “Now you can reach people based on identity. Social advertising is based on who you are, as opposed to a banners ads based on cookies, which is just where you’ve been on the web.”

The brand perspective
“Caterpillar’s social media marketing pillars are to enhance market insight, share thought leadership, promote products and serve customers.” – Kevin Espinosa, Social Media Manager, Caterpillar

Espinosa joined the panel to give the brand side perspective on social marketing. “If you create a strategy and document it, you get credit from your manager,” he says. “But the way we brought our social strategy to life is working with our individual businesses and find ways to use social to bring their business to life. “

It all starts with the story and with content. Brands must focus on the stories they can tell. You start there before you even talk social or preferred channels. Determine the goals and the themes and the content. The last thing to talk about is how it will be executed.

“You are really trying to take the human experience into the digital world,” says Espinosa.  “And you need to know how people are interacting with you and how they are coming in and out of the customer journey."

In case you couldn’t make it to Connections, you can watch the sessions here.
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