18 Signposts I Learned from MarketingSherpa’s Social Marketing ROAD Map Handbook


The title of MarketingSherpa’s 2010 Handbook, Social Marketing ROAD Map, is not only a clever analogy referring to the territory marketers must navigate to map out a social media strategy, the acronym is memorable and quite right-on. ROAD stands for: Research, Objectives, Actions and Devices.

I know writers are supposed to resist the temptation to use clichés—but I can’t help it—so indulge me here for a moment while I offer you a personal perspective. For me, someone who fears getting lost, my Global Positioning System (GPS) has changed my life with its turn-by-turn voice directions. The ROAD Map Handbook offers the comfort and confidence that I’ve come to rely on from my GPS. I think you too will find great direction from the guidelines, best practices and tactics, templates, suggested resources, worksheets, list of social media platforms, and comprehensive glossary.

Whether you’re a marketer just starting out in Social Media or have been traveling these roads for some time, you’re bound to find many valuable tips and strategies in MarketingSherpa’s Social Marketing Road Map Handbook.

You’ll want to read the Handbook yourself to receive the full benefit but to get you started, here are some of my favorite marketing signposts. See if any of the concepts speak to you or challenge how you’ve thought about your social media and search campaigns. (Share your thoughts in the comments.) Also, check-out MarketingSherpa’s upcoming social marketing workshops that begin next week in Boston.

Signpost #1: Include tactics that maintain viral momentum when building social media campaigns.

Signpost #2: Integrate social media with your other online marketing tactics.

Signpost #3: Get on board with integrating Social Media and SEO tactics. Social Media has the potential to greatly improve your search engine campaigns.

Signpost #4: Social content is getting indexed by search engines and generates increased number of listings in search results.

Signpost #5: Social Media’s true benefit to search campaigns is increased clickthrough rates which will bring: increased traffic to your website, leads and online sales, email addresses, and more items added to shopping carts.

Signpost #6: Social Media generates reams of online content which needs to be optimized with targeted keywords.

Signpost #7: A key tenet of Social Media Marketing is to provide value through great content and interaction.

Signpost #8: Add relevant URL’s to social media profiles, e.g. Facebook, twitter.

Signpost #9: SEO keyword research can identify keywords and phrases to use in social media channels to attract more visitors.

Signpost #10: Creating a blog enables you to share your industry expertise with clients while generating massive amounts of keyword-rich content for your domain and search engines.

Signpost #11: Social sharing allows email recipients to share email content on popular social networks and other social media sites.

Signpost #12: Assess and select specific social media brands that will most effectively power the tactics and fit into the social marketing architecture. Lack of architecture results in “random acts of social marketing.” 
Brands include: Social Networks (e.g. Facebook and LinkedIn), Microblog (e.g. Twitter), Video sharing (e.g. YouTube), Photo sharing (e.g. Flickr), Presentation sharing (e.g. SlideShare), Document sharing (e.g. Scribd), Social Bookmarking or News (e.g. Digg).

Signpost #13: The number of social media sites in your social marketing architecture is not important. What is important is that they each have a clearly defined purpose that supports your tactical plan of action.

Signpost #14: Many of the most successful social marketing architectures have a common structure based on a hub and spoke design.

Signpost #15: A website can be the hub of your overall marketing strategy while a blog is the hub of a social marketing strategy.

Signpost #16: The website offers key touch-points for attracting anonymous visitors and converting them into identifiable leads or customers by offering marketing information needed to make purchase decisions.

Signpost #17: A blog is an important aggregation point for frequently updated content and destination point for inbound links. Blogs are very search engine friendly, usually achieving rankings above a website.

Signpost #18: Social networks, multimedia sharing, and social bookmarking sites serve as spoke sites for the hub by feeding traffic to the hub and enabling the hub to feed traffic back to them for engagement and community building.

Thoughts? Comments?

* DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION Special thanks to Sergio Balegno, Research Director, MarketingSherpa for providing a review copy of  Social Marketing ROAD Map for this blog post.
Image by JMC Photos via Flickr

11 thoughts on “18 Signposts I Learned from MarketingSherpa’s Social Marketing ROAD Map Handbook”

  1. Thank you, Debbie, for guiding your readers to the 18 signposts along the ROAD to social marketing effectiveness! I also like the GPS analogy and may not be able to resist using it in our upcoming social marketing workshops that begin next week in Boston – but don’t worry, I’ll cite you as the source! Sergio

  2. Do you think they’ll be coming out with a 2011 version soon? I’m considering getting this but I’d rather have the updated version since it’s a little too late in the year

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