The Question of the Day:
Why do even hardcore marketers need to understand nonprofit and government social media strategies?
To provide an answer, I feel like the question must be deconstructed in order to understand why it is a problematic inquiry to pursue:
- The term hard core as defined by Merriam-Webster, is “a small number of very active and enthusiastic members of a group: the most devoted and active members of a group.” This establishes a hierarchy of value, that is, it is not enough to be part of a group, but you must be one of the most devoted and active members in order to be acknowledged as “hardcore”. This value system also helps establish a member’s authority on matters pertaining to the group.
- The question suggests that hardcore marketers do not understand nonprofit and government social media strategies. The phrasing devalues these types of strategies and sectors as hardcore marketers are implicitly suggested to be from the for-profit sector rather than nonprofit and government agencies who would have an understanding of these strategies.
What does this mean? In the context of the original question, in the marketing industry, the for-profit sector is placed before nonprofit organizations and government agencies in regards to devotion and enthusiasm, both of which can be subjective. I think that it would be more beneficial to ask why all marketers, regardless of objectives and backgrounds, should understand social media strategies in as many industries as possible including nonprofits and governments.
Transitioning from a “hardcore marketer” to a “core marketer”
What is a marketer? According to Merriam-Webster, a marketer is “one that promotes or sells a product or service”. Through this definition, the for-profit and nonprofit sectors as well as government agencies, are included, establishing the term as all-encompassing rather than exclusionary. This allows the conversation to shift from that of a hardcore marketer, to that of a core marketer. What do I think the difference is?
A hardcore marketer is an individual that is limited to the definition as mentioned above and their value is determined through devotion and enthusiasm, both subjective, and activity, or results. A core marketer, on the other hand, focuses on developing the “one” that promotes, sells, etc. In other words, the core marketer develops their own knowledge and expertise in marketing by actively learning and understanding the interconnected environment that surrounds them, strengthening their “core”.
Growth and Social Media Strategies
As Jeff Foster, co-founder and CEO at Tomoson states in the first line of his post How to Build a Social Media Strategy That Works, “Social media is one of the most powerful tools in your marketing arsenal”. Indeed, social media is a powerful tool as it creates communities, connections and allows individuals to interact not only with each other, but with marketers as well. Another key message in the post on building a working social media strategy is the following:
To benefit from social media, you need to build a clear strategy that takes into account what you’re trying to achieve, who your customers are and what your competition is doing.
I think that core marketers must consider these factors but must not limit the scope of their goals, customers and competition. In order for a core marketer to grow and develop in the marketing sphere, they need to understand that change can occur in all industries and sectors in the business environment. Your organization’s objective can change, your customers can change and your competition can be direct and indirect in the marketplace. However, by actively learning about the different social media strategies that have been or will be deployed by organizations (for-profit, nonprofit and government agencies), core marketers can spot trends and adopt successful methods and future tactics in order to create or retool their own strategies.
In conclusion, a “hardcore” marketer can transition into a “core” marketer by developing their understanding and knowledge of social media strategies in the for-profit, nonprofit and government areas. Recognizing how these sectors relate to each other and how different strategies succeeded or failed in multiple environments, can aid in the creation of the core marketer and their organization’s own social media strategy. Strategy isn’t black and white. It is flexible and is always subject to change. Core marketers, by analyzing and maintaining awareness of diverse strategies, can stay ahead of the game.
Are you a hardcore marketer or a core marketer?
*All images are from www.pixabay.com