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IBM's Ed Abrams on SMB Social Strategy and Content Marketing

by Kerry O'Shea Gorgone  |  
September 24, 2013

Newsmakers in social marketing tend to be large companies, with big ad spends. Small and midsize companies can sometimes feel as though they're at a relative disadvantage, but the technologies that power big organizations' social efforts are becoming more affordable for smaller businesses.

Ed Abrams, vice-president of marketing for IBM's small and midsize business unit, explains the changing landscape, and offers tips for SMBs on social strategy, content marketing, and running a social business.

The First Step: Decide What You're Trying to Do With Social

"Sit down and think about what it is that you're trying to accomplish with social media and social business," says Abrams. "Are you trying to build a brand image? Drive sales and revenue?

"Many businesses, SMBs and large businesses alike, simply say 'we need to be there because everyone is there.' You need to set an objective."

The Chicken and the Egg: Content and Social Strategy

Many SMBs have various social platforms in use before they try to plan their larger content strategy, but social and content strategy should be hatched at the same time.

"Businesses need to do two things simultaneously," says Abrams: "create a purpose-built social infrastructure, and establish content and voice. What do you stand for? What value do you add?"

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Kerry O'Shea Gorgone is director of product strategy, training, at MarketingProfs. She's also a speaker, writer, attorney, and educator. She hosts and produces the weekly Marketing Smarts podcast. To contact Kerry about being a guest on Marketing Smarts, send her an email. You can also find her on Twitter (@KerryGorgone) and her personal blog.

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  • by Doug Kessler Thu Sep 26, 2013 via web

    Great post. The principles of social media for small businesses seem similar to those for larger ones – but SMEs tend to get intimidated by it all. And I can see why -- with 70% of their time spend in social.

    I really agree with Ed's point about having a point of view and a strong voice. Critical.

  • by Gracious Store Mon Oct 14, 2013 via web

    It is important to define your goal in social media, because that is what will drive how you connect with other people. If you do not have a defined purpose when getting into social media, you will simply be there because other people are there and you may not get much other of it.

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