From the Archives: A Quick Chat With Digital Marketing Forum Speaker Jeffrey Cohen

Rescued from the ether of the end of 2010 thanks to the wayback machine:

Like all forms of marketing,  social media marketing continues to evolve. And Digital Marketing Forum speaker Jeffrey L. Cohen predicts that, in 2011, marketers will increase their focus on measuring social media conversions. What is a social media conversion, you ask? Great question! Jeffrey touches on the topic in the below interview, and he’ll also chat about it tomorrow at noon during a special #ProfsChat on B2B social media in 2011. Enjoy the interview, and then join us tomorrow at noon to celebrate a new year of B2B social media marketing.

1. What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of my job is explaining social media to people, whether they are internal partners at my agency, clients, or potential clients. Most of these people are marketing professionals who understand the principles of marketing and just need help putting the pieces together of how social media fits into their marketing plans.

I recently had the opportunity to conduct a four-hour social media workshop for the marketing team of a new client. I reviewed some of their social media initiatives, discussed social media best practices, and laid the groundwork for creating a social media strategy. I am frequently given one hour to speak on similar topics at conferences. Four hours felt like the right amount of time with a very engaged audience.

2. What are some of the most common social media marketing sins marketers commit?
The biggest sin marketers commit with social media is thinking that it is just another channel to broadcast the brand messages. While that may be part of a social media approach, companies that open these channels for true two-way communication are more successful at building relationships with their customers and prospects.

Another sin companies make is thinking social media marketing is easy and can be done without a full company commitment. It is one thing to create a successful social media campaign, but for real, long-term success, companies must commit across the board. Authenticity and transparency are not just buzzwords on inspirational posters that get hung on the wall in the break room. Companies need to change at their core to reflect these values.

3. What would say is the most important metric for marketers to measure in 2011?
Marketers need to connect social media to the funnel and measure conversions in 2011. On SocialMediaB2B, we have even called 2011 the year of conversions. As companies have become more familiar with social media marketing techniques as a means to build awareness, drive traffic, and build relationships, it is time to take those elements to the next step of the buying cycle.

Tracking visits to a landing page, subscription form or other lead generation element need to be followed through to conversions to determine how each social media message drives sign-ups. Everything is in place for this to happen in 2011.

4. Do you blog? Why? What does it do for your business?
I blog on SocialMediaB2B to provide ideas, resources and examples for B2B marketers learning how to incorporate social media into their B2B marketing and other company functions. We have written about using social media for public relations, sales, customer support, human resources, and even product development.

We began the site nearly two years ago with the intent to develop thought leadership around the new topic of social media  for B2B companies. As a result of blogging on the site, I have had the chance to speak at events across the country (including the upcoming Digital Marketing Forum). Standing in front of people talking about social media and the promotion of those speaking engagements bring new clients to my agency and demonstrate our knowledge of social media to existing clients.

5. If you weren’t a marketer, what job would you do?
I would be a documentary filmmaker or a Hollywood stuntman. With the advent of pocket digital video cameras and the ease of web distribution, I can now create compelling stories online, but no amount of technology can help me jump off the roof as I used to when I was a kid.

* Bonus question! Do you like your chili mild or spicy?
I like my chili spicy because there is nothing worse than bland food. A well-seasoned dish should be balanced, but with explosions of flavors that remind you that food is about more than mere sustenance. If eating, and marketing, isn’t fun and exciting, what’s the point?

Jeffrey L Cohen

Jeffrey L Cohen