Marketing is marketing and whether you are marketing to B2C consumers or marketing to B2B client, you are still just marketing to people. During this month’s EASTWEST roundtable, 5 professionals from agencies and companies gathered together to discuss the topics on using social media for marketing. Participants include: Ellen Ai, Deputy General Manager, Discover Advertising Co., Ltd. MiCol Chan, Chief Writer, MadisonBoom Qian Yu, Account Manager, HRH Communications Group Hongju Wu, Marketing Associate, Bookdao.com Wenhui Zhang, Director, SINO Union Click here to watch video #1 Public Relations, adverting, and social media marketing: When they work? When they work well? Before embarking on any marketing campaigns, it is essential to think about the product life cycle, which impacts the marketing strategy and the marketing mix. When the new product is introduced to the market, companies tend to spend money on ads in the big newspapers, subway station, and television because ads are very effective in terms of rapidly increasing customer’s awareness of the product and targeting the early adopters. However, ads can strength the images of what your products or services are. It does not tell the complete story about your company. For example, we find that in China much of advertising for the insurance company emphasizes the company’s promise to provide security to individuals or a family. Consumers are not told how your company differentiates from the competition. Public relations provides an alternative way to get you noticed and get your message out. PR exposure is oftentimes considered more trustworthy because the media present the information. Public relations, done well, will help bolster your reputation and retain customer’s loyalty at the growth stage of a product. The essence of social media is to build relationship. Social media is an additional channel that allows you to listen and respond as you market to customers. Human interaction can be accomplished by using social media as a form of communication with your customers. Customers sometimes like a kid. They want to know you CARE about what they are experiencing. # 2 Does the video marketing work in China? In China, video marketing is getting a lot of traction. It is easy to implement, it’s visual and can be consumed quickly and easily, it builds awareness, and allows for an inside glimpse into your company. But in the past we have either made many mistakes or seen others make them. Here are the top three common mistakes. – Planning on going viral Many companies in China are so keen to plan on going viral. “Going viral” is possible. But it is part strategy, part luck. It is more like winning the lottery. Do you plan on winning the lottery when you creating your personal budget? I bet not. – Failing to deliver brand value Remember that the video that you intend to promote on the web will represent your business. From what we have seen, most companies are a fan of creating funny videos that would be able to leave a good impression on the viewers and they will then like to share the video with their friends. But these videos fail to deliver brand value. – Failing to Optimize Videos for Search Time and time again, we see companies spend tremendous effort and resources making videos only to ask one of most important questions in term of strategy, last. Namely, how could you get users that would be interested in watching your video to find them? You need to optimize videos for search and encourage people to share on social media. # 3 How to convince your boss / client that social media is a way to go? – Share B2B Case Studies As familiar as you may be with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, this is still uncharted water for lots of businesses. To visualize the opportunity in this space, provide the decision makers you work with some successful case studies to clearly describe your points. Choose a case study that reflects the vision you see for your business or another company in and around your industry. – Show What Your Competitors are Doing We are humans and we love comparing ourselves to what other people are doing. Take a peek at what your competitors are doing in the social media space. Are they seeing any success in their efforts? What makes your company different from them and how could you highlight that on social networks? Then tell the story to your boss/ client.