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Argyle forum focuses on efforts to leverage social media

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New York—Understanding and adhering to the rules of social marketing, as well as knowing which forums are appropriate for which companies, is essential to social marketing success, according to guest panelists at Argyle Executive Forum’s 2010 CMO Leadership Forum, held Thursday.

“There are rules that can’t be broken,” said Mike Hilts, president-general manager of e-mail service provider Yesmail. “One rule is to stick to the theme of the particular community.”

Hilts cautioned marketers to recognize that many social media participants are there for personal, private experiences, and thus marketers need to “carry themselves as they would in someone’s home, with courtesy and humility.”

Matt Goddard, a co-founder and CEO of Internet marketing company R2integrated, warned against being too forum-specific.

“We noticed in the past year that we were building strategies around the tools: We had a Facebook strategy, a Twitter strategy and so on,” Goddard said. “Instead, we decided to create a single social strategy, or framework, around the only four things you can do with social media.”

Goddard listed those as conducting marketing research through listening, reaching out to existing customers, engaging with other communities so they visit your own community and leveraging the sharing power of social media to accelerate your message.

In another session, Eastman Kodak Co. CMO Jeff Hayzlett presented examples of how Kodak transformed itself from a consumer film business into a b-to-b digital marketer.

“We did $15 billion in film five years ago; we do $200 million today,” Hayzlett said. The result was a “reinvention of our brand and a redefinition of our customer promises.”

Hayzlett said Kodak is relying on social media for brand development and customer engagement. In preparing for the rollout of a new minicamcorder at this month’s Consumer Electronics Show, the company earlier had held a naming contest on Twitter that returned 28,000 suggestions in three days.

The winning name: Playsport.

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