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Shama Hyder is the bestselling author several books including Momentum: How to Propel Your Marketing and Transform Your Brand in the Digital Age. She is the award-winning CEO of The Marketing Zen Group—a global online marketing and digital PR company.

She did her grad school thesis on Twitter when it only had a few thousand users. Shama started her own business because she saw opportunities in the field of social media that no one was exploiting.

“You could already tell [even at the beginning] that twitter was shaping the Internet,” Shama explains.

In this podcast we talk about the history of Twitter and we dive deep into the marketing strategies that work on Twitter and other social media platforms.

Marketing in the Digital Age

Here are some of the highlights of our conversation:

  • Even at the beginning Twitter was shaping the conversation of the Internet.
  • The power of Twitter is how it allows people to connect and communicate with one another.
  • One of the first user bases of Twitter were seventh grade teachers teaching evolution and trying to figure out how to introduce a sensitive subject like evolution into the classroom.
  • When social media was the new thing it was hard to get big companies interested in the opportunity that was there.
  • The ROI for social media is definitely there otherwise businesses wouldn’t do it.
  • The nice thing is we have more metrics today than at any other time in human history to figure out what types of marketing are working.
  • Even so, it can still be difficult to pinpoint exactly piece of marketing was the tipping point in your buying decision.
  • We can tell a piece of marketing is not working. What we can’t exactly quantify is how much each piece of marketing affects your buying decision.
  • Marketing isn’t an exact linear equation.
  • Another reason you know the ROI is there is because digital media is where the audience is.
  • You may see a product marketed five or six times before you decide to buy it and there’s no way of knowing which of the six instances caused you to make the decision buy the product.

Five Principles of Momentum For Marketing in the Digital Age

1. Agility Through Analytics in Marketing

Look at the numbers for answers. Eliminate myths and sacred cows. What do the numbers tell you about where you are right now?

One of the best ways you can make use of the overwhelming amount of information today is to ask intelligent questions and find the data that gives you the answer to those questions. In the case of Google Analytics There are two pieces of data that you can look at to get valuable information about your visitors.

The first piece of data is called your Bounce Rate . Your bounce rate is the percentage of people who leave your site immediately after arriving there. If your bounce rate is 70% or above you know you’re not converting well on your website when traffic it gets there, or you’re sending the wrong type of traffic to that site.

The other thing you can easily look at using Google Analytics is the amount of traffic you’re getting from mobile devices. If you see that you’re getting 50% of your traffic from mobile devices but your website is a mobile optimized, you know that you’re missing out on 50% of the traffic that could be doing your site.

2. The Power of the Right Kind of Customer Focus in Your Marketing

Customer focus in the digital age isn’t about the customer always being right. Modern companies have to evaluate what interacting with their brand says about the customer. In this Internet age we all have a digital foot print. For companies to succeed in this new world they have to make sure that interacting with them reflects positively on the customers who do so.

The ice bucket challenge is a great example of modern customer focus and action. The ice bucket challenge got people all over the world to engage because the people who started it understand human psychology. The ice bucket challenge was something that was fun, a little bit challenging, and out of the norm and entertaining.

It was fun because you get to challenge your friends to do it. It was a little bit challenging because of the ice bucket aspect. Dumping a bucket of ice water over your head is not a pleasant experience. However, it’s only moderately unpleasant, so most people will do it for a good cause is out of the norm and entertaining because there’s an element of slapstick humor involved.

The key to understanding and modeling the ice bucket challenge is to ask and answer this question: What does doing business with our company allow our customers to say about themselves? Put another way, How does doing business with the company added value to our customers and/or their identity?

Facebook is a master of this concept. Every so often they will remind you of posts you’ve made in the past, and on your birthday they create a personalized video of all your friends wishing you a happy birthday on Facebook. This is about getting a personalized experience that makes you feel happy that you’re part of the Facebook community.

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3. Integration Marketing

How do you integrate physical and digital marketing? How do you do it seamlessly so that one builds off the other?

Understanding your customer’s buying journey and finding ways that you can intersect with them both digitally and physically is key.

One powerful way to integrate the digital with the physical is if you have a conference or tradeshow you’re going to, find out who some of the speakers are or see if there are people attending the conference you might want to network with. Follow them on twitter and start a conversation. Then when you get to the conference you will have another point of commonality with the people that you’ve been talking to online.

Another way to integrate the digital with the physical is hashtags. And if you’re unable to attend a conference or tradeshow you can follow a hashtags and be part of the conversation. That way you can build relationships for the next conference or tradeshow. Also, you can arrange meet ups with these people if you’re going to be in the area but not during the time of the actual tradeshow.

In order to make this kind of thing work it’s important that you research and make a very personalized approach. Spamming people never works out well for the spammer or the intended target.

If you can give people a digital and physical impression of you than you being more firmly anchored in their mind.

There are endless ways to combine the digital world and the physical world. What you have to do to be most effective is figure out what your goal is, why is it you’re doing what you’re doing? What are you trying to accomplish? After you’ve answered these questions implement the strategy that will help you best achieve your goals.

4. Content Curation Marketing

This isn’t just about creating content. It’s about being a filter for and as the voice of your audience. How do you bring them the best information?

The important thing about content curation is to know your audience and understand the types of things they need and want.

Pinterest is the ultimate content curation platform. Pinterest creates no content on its own. It’s simply a place where you can bring together content from around the web and collect it.

Another important aspect of content curation is to be consistent with whatever you’re doing. It’s not enough to just make one list of things for people to look at or write one blog post. You have to have a set schedule where you are regularly adding value to your audience.

5. Cross-Pollination Marketing

How do you stop looking in silos and instead combining ideas from different disciplines? How can you connect thoughts from one industry to another?

Cross-pollination is all about finding ideas from different sources and bringing them together to spawn new creative thinking.

Any business can generate social media activity by encouraging their employees to talk about the company on different social media channels.

Marketing Links and Resources Mentioned in the Interview

Momentum: How to Propel Your Marketing and Transform Your Brand in the Digital Age — Shama’s newest book on social media.

The Zen of Social Media Marketing: An Easier Way to Build Credibility, Generate Buzz, and Increase Revenue — Shama’s first book on social media. It’s a classic currently in its fourth printing.— Shama’s social media marketing company— Shama’s personal website where you can connect with her on various social media platforms.

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