Whether it be networking, advertising, or simply staying in touch, the likes of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. have emerged as valuable outlets with the potential to deliver huge benefits in the world of marketing.
Kent Huffman, a marketing executive and author of 8 Mandates for Social Media Marketing Success, realized this potential early on and wanted to showcase how vital social media was to staying one step ahead of the game.
“There is an awful lot out there written about social media, but what I did not find was anyone who had focused on the personal and behavioral traits that make you successful with social media marketing,” Huffman said. “I was trying to build this community so we could help each other improve”
The premise revolves around eight mandates that Huffman believes are crucial to execute if one hopes to achieve success in their social media marketing endeavors.
Huffman credits the incredible diversity and inclusiveness of 8 Mandates to what friend Jeffery Hayzlett has penned as “friend-sourcing” – a version of crowdsourcing that allows him to generate content based on insight and input from his connections (or “friends”) on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.
“I saw a lot of value in not just what I had to say, but what other experts on the topic had to say,” Huffman said. “There are people you get to know that are just like you, people you can share ideas with… I was able to bring together a hundred-something people and make them the nucleus of the book.”
Huffman’s eight mandates, as compiled by experts across the country, are as follows:
• Mandate #1: Start Listening
• Mandate #2: Plan Carefully
• Mandate #3: Develop Relationships
• Mandate #4: Establish Trust
• Mandate #5: Demonstrate Leadership
• Mandate #6: Build Community
• Mandate #7: Ensure Value
• Mandate #8: Continue Listening
Each mandate is unique in nature and provides useful tips, tools and insight on how to accomplish everything from creating business plans to building relationships, emerging as a leader to maintaining that powerful status.
8 Mandates’ Step-By-Step Explanation Promotes Innovation, Fuels Success
Huffman’s book is specifically designed to carefully walk readers through key points and effectively demonstrate how to achieve success by applying the mandates.
Each chapter begins by introducing the mandate, for example, Mandate #1: Start Listening. What follows is an explanation of not only why the mandate is important to achieving success, but ways in which you can implement the tactic and how it can improve your success with social media marketing.
Huffman doesn’t stop there, however. Following his own advice is an array of thoughts from CMOs, marketing book authors and marketing professors on how they personally have achieved success or led their business to success by utilizing and implementing the mandate at hand.
Lastly, each chapter comes to a close with real company “success stories,” a sort of case-study-like account of how business-to-business and business-to-consumer companies, both large and small, have applied the mandate and reaped the benefits. The book introduces 28 organizations and walks through the challenges they faced, the solutions they came up with, and the results they saw all by following one of the eight mandates.
“I was hoping to accomplish, whether you work for a big or small business, a business-to-business or businesses-to-consumer company, that there was something in the book for you,” he said. “I wanted to make it more encompassing rather than just using myself.”
When asked if he thought social media marketing was being fully utilized in corporate America, Huffman responded with a firm no.
“There is a lot more potential than what is currently being exploited,” he explained. “I think there are a lot of companies stuck in the broadcast stage and they don’t really see how they can listen to the customers to develop an actual business plan.”
Huffman’s bit of advice: Don’t start with or limit your social media use to just advertising the company.
“The first thing you need to do is listen,” he said. “There is a huge opportunity for business to use [social media] as a customer service tool… listen to the complaints, the compliments, the good and bad things… that is what drives the business plan.”
Huffman’s day job involves serving as the Chief Marketing Officer for BearCom Wireless. He is also co-publisher of Social Media Marketing Magazine, a digital publication that brings together leading marketing experts who are active on the social media domain.
You can purchase your own copy of 8 Mandatesat Amazon.com.