Back in June I presented the first course from PM Forum on “Inbound Marketing and Social Media”. You can download the PDF description here:

Whilst the session was split into two parts – the first dealing with the technology and tools (academic and commercial perspectives) and the second focusing on strategy and implementation, I was keen to hear what the delegates were most interested in learning about. Here’s their responses:

  • Digital marketing
  • Social media developments
  • Branding and communications
  • Promoting events with social media
  • Integrating the web site into social media campaigns
  • Opportunities and priorities
  • Return on investment

Of course we covered these topics throughout the morning after we considered what stage of “social media evolution” their firms were at – from absolute beginners to sophisticated users integrating YouTube, LinkedIn (and SlideShare), Twitter and wikis into their marketing communications campaigns.

We discussed various frameworks to introduce the tools into day-to-day use but most shared the components of due diligence, planning, watching and listening, participation and measurement. A key topic of discussion was how to balance the freedom of individuals to express themselves and the security and continuity of the brand.

One of the exercises saw the delegates broken into two teams to argue the pros and cons of social media to the partners. This was an enlightening and fun experience. Delegates were particularly interested in the material relating to the use of digital marketing and social media in the public relations mix.

At the end of the session, I asked the delegates which topics they had found most interesting and/or useful, their views were:

  • Ways to organise monitoring, updating and wider participation in social media
  • Social media reputation monitoring systems
  • Return on investment approaches
  • Reciprocal halo effect of individuals and the firm participating
  • Tangible actions to implement
  • Guidance on search engine optimisation
  • Advanced LinkedIn use
  • Use of brand and sub-brands on social media accounts
  • Integration across marketing and sales campaigns
  • Age range and other demographics of the various social media tool users
  • Tips on achieving partner buy-in
  • 4Ps to the 4Es
  • Professional service firm case studies
  • Managing the risks
  • The need not to give up in the face of consistent opposition

It was a lot to cover in a morning and I recommended two books to the delegates for further reading:

Understanding Digital Marketing

Inbound Marketing