Business and Operations
S.A.M. – The three-part process of social media marketing
By Dr. Maurice A. Ramirez
By Dr. Maurice A. Ramirez
March 25, 2009 – Online social networking and social media
marketing are the hottest new tools in business promotion. These tools are not
only extremely effective for growing the brand, but for advancing the
reputations and careers of executives, owners and managers alike.
Customers love the ability to interact directly and
personally with these business people. Paradoxically, the singular most common
complaint of online social networking and social media marketing is the
significant demand of time.
So how does an executive or entrepreneur reap the benefits
of online social networking and social media marketing for the minimal
investment of time?
Smart business people turn to S.A.M., the three-part process
for optimizing the efficiency of the online social networking and social media
The key to successfully reaping the benefits of online
social networking and social media marketing is to provide genuine interaction
for customers. This means that the contact person must be the actual author of
all communications; however, this is only one step in the process of conducting
a successful online social networking / social media marketing campaign. It is
basic business economics, delegating duties to free the time of key individuals
in the organization produces a larger return on the time investment. S.A.M.
includes Strategic Planning, Authorship and Mechanics.
An online social networking / social media marketing
campaign must be a part of the overall public relations, marketing and
advertising plan for the business. Entrepreneurs and executives often have
review and oversight of public relations, marketing and advertising plans but
seldom if ever micromanage the development and deployment of these plans.
Determining where best to conduct online social networking
and social media marketing efforts requires 20 to 30 per cent of the time spent
each week on an optimal program. Delegating this aspect of the process to a
consultant or other highly trained team member saves the executive significant
This is the part of the process that must be completely the
original work and words of the business’ contact person. Customers choosing to
participate in online social networking with the management and owners of a
business expect – even demand – that their interactions actually be with the
executive. Everyone in the online social networking and social media marketing
industry took notice of the backlash against Brittany Spears when it was
discovered that ghostwriters wrote her social networking interactions. On the
other hand, multiple celebrities have learned that contributing to their own
blogs, Twitters and social networking efforts creates fan loyalty and increased
Business people who author their own articles, blog entries
and speeches find that the time required is small compared to the favorable
response received from audiences and customers. Even more time can be saved by
dictating drafts and letting someone else do the typing. In most cases, authorship
requires less than 10 per cent of the time spent on online social networking
and social media marketing each week.
The part of the process that takes the most time and causes
the dread for executives considering an online social networking / social media
marketing campaign is the part most easily delegated to an employee. The
mechanics of posting blog entries, Twitters and social network comments requires
only a bank of authentically authored content from which to draw and the
knowledge of how to post that content to the appropriate sites.
The process of posting content combined with the process of
locating new social media contacts accounts for fully half of all the time
spent on online social networking and social media marketing efforts. When
these duties are delegated to an employee operating in accordance with a
well-defined strategic plan and clear ethical guidelines, the executive is
freed for more gainful efforts while satisfying the customer’s desire for
online social network interactions.
Putting S.A.M. to
In practice, the S.A.M. process begins with strategic
planning to determine what markets represent the most viable for a particular
business and specific executive. Once these markets and online networking sites
are identified, a detailed plan for participating on the various networks is
formulated. This plan is re-evaluated monthly and refocused to maximize
recruitment of new contacts as well as profile and website visitors.
Once a plan is in place, the executive must author articles
and other content items for distribution through the planned social media
outlets. This is the sum total of the executive’s time commitment except to
answer specific replies from social network members. With this minimal time
commitment, the executive establishes a rapport with the customer and
relationships with the entire market.
With the plan in place and the content authored, the daily
mechanics of posting material to the networks and parsing compositions into
microblogs is accomplished under the oversight of a consulting strategic
planner. Because the content is not only in the voice of the executive, but the
actual creation of that executive, the relationships created are fostered even
without further investment of time or effort.
Online social networking and social media marketing are an
amazingly cost effect means of spreading the brand message and building both
customer rapport and loyalty. The use of the S.A.M. process increase the return
on investment for this new form of info-communications.
Maurice A. Ramirez is founder of the consulting firm High Alert, LLC. He is a
renowned speaker on the importance of social networking and has presented to
national organizations. As a consultant,
Dr. Ramirez assists companies to align business continuity plans with personnel
and customer behavior during adversity. He is founding chairperson of the American
Board of Disaster Medicine and a Senior Physician-Federal Medical Officer. Dr.
Ramirez has a new book: “The
Complete Idiot's Guide to Disaster Preparedness,” which is now available
on Amazon. Please visit www.mauricearamirez.com for more