Jolina Pettice

Online Marketing Summit: Social Media Basics

Jolina Pettice     Online Marketing, Other Events, Social Media

At Online Marketing Summit held in Minneapolis and hosted by ClickZ, Caitlin McCabe of Sway Inc spoke to the audience about Social Media and had these insights:

1. For people who think Facebook is just for kids, go search for groups relevant to you and you will find them!  Facebook offers many targeted marketing opportunities.

While there are hoards of people, both professional and not, look for niche social sites where you can reach 100% of your target audience as well as an audience that is more engaged than perhaps the average Facebook user.

People with more friends aren’t necessarily more valuable. Do they know all their friends and who are they? However, on a niche social network like, the friends are much more targeted than a big brand like Sara Lee.

2. Check out the IKEA video channel on YouTube. Creating video content, if relevant to your target market, is excellent. In addition, the video content can create more for your target audience to bump into online.

3. Launch a blog if you have the time and resources to allocate to it. Think about how big  the conversation is that you want to have. Do you have something to say every day, every other day or every other week. This should help you determine whether or not to start blogging.

Do the planning before you do the blogging. If you outline a content plan and you don’t have content beyond month 1 or 2, you are going to run into problems. Get going on aligning your blog to overall marketing initiatives to help you create a content plan that extends 6 months and beyond.

If you do start a blog, keep in mind that in the first 2 months no one will read it, comment or maybe even care. But don’t give up! Give it the time it needs and socialize. Go comment on other blogs and bring those bloggers back to your content.

4. If you aren’t tweeting yet, start listening. What are Tweeple saying about your brand. And what are industry thought leaders saying?  Knowing what people are talking about can help you decide how and when to engage. At the very least, go register your Twitter handle so a competitor or money-minded company doesn’t do it first.

5. You can connect Social Media to ROI, but only after an extended period of time and not your first priority. The first priority is connecting with the target audience via conversations, not marketing messages.

Questions from the Audience:

Q – How do you find niche social sites?
A – You can find niche social sites by searching, looking at blogrolls and sites that target market friends are talking about.

Q – Can you reach out to bloggers as an individual or as the company?
A – You can do both, dependent on the blogger. If the blog you are talking to is small, then tailor the message and reach out with a non-mass email type note.

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  1. The tip about planning content for a new blog is critical.

    When discussing a blog start-up with clients,we’ve heard so many times, “Oh, I’ve got plenty of ideas.” or “Oh, I’ll just blog about whatever’s happening.”

    That attitude is a recipe for a short-lived, nonproductive blog, which sadly seems to lead the erstwhile blogger to decide that blogging doesn’t work.

    It’s not the blogging that doesn’t work. It’s the lack of preparation that doesn’t work.

    • That is such a true statement! If you do not have passion for what you are blogging about you will soon find your blog by the wayside!
      I was getting so many emails from my list members on this topic that I finally started a membership site just for this.
      You have to decide if you want to blog as a hobby or a business!

    • Agreed, Betty.

      A concerted effort to plan content that aligns with other marketing efforts and rolls up to objectives is crucial.

      Any additional ideas or news-related posts are just icing on the cake.

  2. Company Blog Basics:

    Would you recommend a company to start blogging with WordPress or Blogger, or neither?

    As for social bookmarking, Digg or Delicious?

    Thanks for the wonderful Social Media Basics checklist! =)

    • Thomas McMahon says:

      Hi Diana

      I’d recommend using WordPress and installing it on the companies website in a folder. eg:

      As for social bookmarking, Digg isn’t a bookmarking platform. It’s about social news and interesting stories. For bookmarking purposes, Delicious is the way to go.

      • Thank you Thomas!! Quick & straight to the point, I will use WordPress & Delicious.

  3. SEObetty, I completely agree with your comment.

    Jolina, you hit it on the head when you mentioned content planning. Some might think this is limiting; however, planning does not mean they are limited to only write what they’ve outlined, but use that as the meat of their blog. It’s like a recipe to follow but you are free to tweak it. You’re driving the boat. If you want to throw in something about recent issues or events, great! But the key is when it is planned, the blog tends to be more connected from post to post, rather than a conglomeration of completely unrelated ideas.

  4. Anthony Mora says:

    Hi Jolina, I found this article to be really helpful. I’m currently trying to implement a lot of these strategies. I’m putting up a Public Relations Blog, and a lot of planning has gone into it. Thank you for the reminder of how important that is. Laying out the basics in the way you have also gives clarity on how I can organize my time. Blog, social media (being Facebook, Twitter, etc.), and video. You are right, all of these are key ingredients to valuable online marketing.

  5. Hi,

    really beautiful blog. I am also working on different strategies about how we can use social networking sites for online marketing. And your blog really help me lot in that. Thanks for posting 🙂

  6. Great article, Jolina- I appreciate your balance of the possibilities on Facebook with the realistic approach to the complicated, somewhat metric-less Social Media/ROI relationship. And the content planning, scheduling part of organizing the social media web is so crucial. Thanks for putting so much good information in one place!

  7. Stephanie Valentine says:

    Your point that blogging and social media take TIME is well taken. I can’t tell you how many people I have seen fall by the wayside because nobody reads their blog. It takes something like 33 months to become a top Technorati blog, and that’s blogging 3-5 times a week. Blogging and social media, while they are certainly marketing tools, have to be something you enjoy as well, otherwise you’ll lose the will to keep going when it seems like your stats aren’t moving fast or the interaction isn’t happening fast enough. Self-interest in the topic at hand, plus plenty of planning to help with days where inspiration is nil, are a must!

  8. Hey there,Nice post!But i have a question that Really Social Media Marketing replace Search Engine Marketing as a viable way for companies to market online?

    • Thomas McMahon says:

      Social media marketing is just another avenue. It shouldn’t replace search engine marketing but rather be used in conjunction to drive additional traffic.

  9. Thanks Thomas for this advise.This helps me to remove my confusion.

  10. Great article. Video is often overlooked and underrated. Don’t understand why it isn’t utilized more when it can be so effective.

  11. Diana at No Boundaries Media says:

    What a terrific article and what great comments! It’s amazing how much we can learn from each other when we are willing to share.

    Social media seems like a new frontier, to some of us. There’s an aspect of it that seems less controllable than SEO where you pick your own keywords, etc. It also seems like it may take more time to see the benefits. Perhaps social media marketing can be described as requiring patience and perseverence in some cases, whereas if I plug the right key words into my press releases and make sure our website content is optimized, I can see results within a few weeks. Appreciate hearing about the experience of others…