Digital Marketing

Many of you know I had been working on a project here at SNHU going back to 2017. Now that we have a few terms under our belt and data on the success of implementation.. its time to celebrate the MS in Marketing with Digital Marketing Concentration!

Our Marketing Programs here at Southern New Hampshire University, offer so much! I am so proud of the work we have done and feel we are providing our students with experiences that add to their employability as well so many unique opportunities to showcase their learning’s.

Our Masters in Marketing  program is designed with a very strategic approach.

Firstly, We have connected our program to industry

We stay current within industry and business environments; and our courses evolve with the needs of business. We have aligned our programs and courses with skills employers want. We utilize an advisory board of high level individuals in the field to ensure we are addressing current skills gaps in the industry. This Advisory board helps drive discussions around content learners should understand for success in the workplace

2nd We have embraced the importance of Industry Certifications

We have identified opportunities for students to add to their resume through external certifications. We know these industry certifications provide students and their employers with added value.  Within many courses, students will see Certifications and credentials –  and the associations who promote them such as the American Marketing Association, Google, Hubspot, and Hootsuite for example..

3rd Coursework is aligned with deliverables students will encounter in the workplace.

Projects and assignments within the program, are designed to help students make connections between course content and their world. Project-based learning is evident throughout the program, activities are hands on, and meet employer demands. And importantly, Content in the courses is relevant to both students employability and their advancement in the field.

4th Our faculty have extensive real world experience. They are in the field, and can bring those experiences to students in class. These experiences play a huge role in learning and application of concepts.

Visit our program pages here:

Associates Degree- Marketing

Bachelor’s Degree- Marketing

Master Degree – Marketing


In the master’s in marketing online program, students learn how to:

  • Analyze and interpret qualitative and quantitative data to align marketing plans to an organization’s strategic goals
  • Create integrated strategies for maximizing opportunities through the use of marketing theory and practices
  • Distill information through diverse media to inform, negotiate and persuade stakeholders
  • Develop international marketing strategies that address the commercial, political, legal and cultural environments in a global economy
  • Certify marketing practices comply with legal environments, regulatory standards and ethical practices
  • Manage a brand in cross-functional environments to ensure the creation, capture and delivery of value

Marketing is Important.  It transcends all  borders of an organization.


Listen to this Hubspot Podcast, where I detail the above points.

To read it:


How not to suck at social

All year I have been writing about several underlying concepts one should have a grasp on in order to be a more marketable social media professional. We have covered everything from being flexible, Analytics, SEO, content, and integration of social into a traditional marketing plan and beyond. For a re-cap, read here.

These concepts are not only necessary for today’s marketer, they are almost demanded. By this I mean they may not be skills that one would encounter in one specific job description. But, they are skills that will over lap from department to department. Having an understanding of their application to not only your specific role, but others as well will give you a broader view of the overall marketing picture while also making you more desirable, more effective and ultimately more successful. We have made it to the last concept in the series, and perhaps the most basic yet often overlooked and underutilized.

Do you know who the top Influencers are in your sector? Your competitors? Industry specific trends?

For my Social Media Marketing graduate students, I suggest that they follow a few Social Media Marketing thought leaders and companies on Twitter, follow a few blogs, and read a few books. This applies to the seasoned professional as well. Please take a moment to click on the previous links to bookmark, save, share etc. As you browse the internet and search and read about topics of interest, you will notice several names pop up continuously. These will likely be your thought leaders. By reading related blogs and keeping up to speed via other social channels, you are more able to identify and connect with other like minded professionals, identify industry leaders, identify and track competition, and often identify opportunities.

Be proactive and use social tools to stay informed and relevant even if you are not a social media marketer.

For those within the SMM industry, you are likely already doing this. If not, please be sure to take a moment to read “20 Minutes a Week to More Connected and Intelligent You: Are You Ignoring These Basic Social Media 101 Concepts?”.

Blurred Lines

As social business progresses, I feel that the departmental lines are getting blurred (more on that here). Roles and functions are being re-defined and those working in one field that may not seem to be related at all to social media marketing are being impacted by social media in one way or another. Yet another reason I love the field of social media marketing and subsequently chose it as my research focus in my doctoral work.

Historically, skills that are valuable in one department were not as valuable in others. In this social age, this is no longer the case. The marketer who has an understanding of SEO and Google Analytics is far more valuable than one only proficient in writing basic content. That is not to say that every marketer will need to address SEO And Analytics, but it does help if everyone is on the same page given marketing projects related to social tend span several departments. This is not a new concept. Businesses and marketers know that communication between departments is key, but more so now than ever with the all encompassing role of social media.

Get a move on

Today’s ‘real time” business environment makes it necessary for all departments to move quickly and nimbly. With this increase in social media use for Marketing comes an increase in the need for departments to seamlessly present one brand and communicate in one voice. This consistent image and voice contributes to not only the customer relationship with the brand but also the customer experience.

photo credit: ePublicist via photopin cc

SEO, Cross-departmental Communication and the Extinct Career in Social Media?

Last January, when I wrote 15 Concepts to Make You a More Marketable Social Media Professional, I had not really planned to base an entire year of monthly blog posts on Maximize Social Business around it. However, once I wrote it I wanted to elaborate on each concept a bit more to cover some of the top concerns and questions I get in my Social Media Marketing courses.

After Analytics, the next topic I have some confusion in the classroom is SEO. Some students had not considered it a function of Marketing, but it is one of the best tools we have. As a marketer, some basic knowledge of SEO, why we need it, what it does, and how to best utilize it is a handy tool to have in your belt. While you may not be an SEO specialist, you should have an understanding of it in order to be a more effective marketer.

SEO, or search engine optimization, in my opinion boils down to great content. I am not an SEO expert by any means. However, relevant and timely content will drive visitors to your site. In order for this content to be discovered, it should have a headline that grabs the target audience’s attention and is actionable. By actionable I mean, likely to get clicked and shared. Rankings on search engines will be higher with the more frequency of sharing. Social media has a direct impact on this sharing by making it not only quick and easy to share and also making it easy to share across multiple networks.

Some quick tips:

* SEO should be strategic, not an aspect of “design”.

* SEO is long term, ever changing, and continual. Do not expect to address SEO and forget about it.

* SEO must align the website with set business goals.

* SEO can be the most highly leveraged, most productive item of a marketing budget.

* Tags are not categories, they are more specific but the two complement each other.

* Tags should be up to 3 words long

* Go easy on the “tags”. The more the merrier is not true in this case.

* Tags should not be redundant.

* Be helpful. Customers are looking for information, give them what they need and answer the questions they’re seeking. If they value it, it is shared.

* Word of Mouse is the new Word of Mouth.

* Social Sharing is good. More shares of your content, equals more inbound links and traffic.

* You must track web performance data to understand what people are looking at and what you could do to better improve the experience. Recall this is my number one topic I find students struggle with.

* You cannot improve what you do not measure. Consider one of these Analytics programs: Google Analytics, KISSmetrics, Clicky, Adobe SiteCatalyst, Webtrends Analytics, IBM Digital Analytics, iPerceptions, Yahoo Marketing Dashboard

* Website goals should be clarified and then further tied to how these goals apply to specific departments.

* Cross-departmental communication and aligning departmental goals with business goals helps produce an effective SEO strategy.

* Social media is not just for the marketing department. Keep in mind, functions in other departments may overlap with Marketing because of Social Media.

An Extinct Career in Social Media?!
I saw an interesting piece targeted to Millennials with tidbits of career advice from Fox Business Network’s Cheryl Casone. Towards the end of the piece she suggests a career in social media will not exist in 5 years. While I agree to an extent, I felt she presented her position terribly. Those hoping to make a career out of simply tweeting are in for a rude awakening. Social Media is a tool for Marketing, Human Resources, Sales, etc. So yes, “Twitter Ninja” is NOT an idea career path. One must be a Marketer first, with a specialization in Social Media (as it applies to marketing) just as any other marketing related job like logistics, branding, or merchandising. However, unlike some of these other areas, social media will be tied to nearly every department within an organization in some way.

For all of the Millennials who saw that piece, “social media marketing strategist” or simply “marketing strategist” may be a better career option. Social media will be here in 5 years, but the need for someone who knows how to tweet will not. There will be the need for strategic thinkers and those who can make sense of all of the data we are accumulating; not simply folks good with “tactics”.

Suggested reading for the month:

Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide

Content Rules By Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman

Social Media Strategy: Look for successes AND Failures

When planing a social strategy, we want to consider:
Who? Who is your target audience, where are they online, how can you reach them?
What? What are your primary objectives? These could be building brand awareness, building online credibility, providing education about your brand; increase sales. Again, these tie back in to the overall organizational objectives.
When? When will you evaluate the social media strategy, and how will you evaluate it? Often organizations have no real set time-frame in which to assess objectives to ascertain if they are on target or if plans need to be re-evaluated or possibly revamped.
Where? Where does the social strategy fit into the overall business? When utilizing such tools as Twitter and Facebook, brands are realizing that social media sites can provide support for not only the marketing and sales departments, but can also assist with educational endeavors, public relations, and even customer care. A social strategy often spans over different departments and objectives should be formulated accordingly.
Which? Which employees/departments will oversee social media, be responsible for posting, and reporting?
How? How will you differentiate yourself from the competition? Identify your competitors strengths and weaknesses as well as your own, this will help in planning your social strategy.

Beantin webbkommunikation / / CC BY-SA

As we prepare for a social campaign strategically, one of the first, and arguable most important steps we take is identifying what we will measure, and how. These directly correlate with our set objectives. I make sure to stress to my graduate social media marketing students that we will not (and should not) simply measure our social presence, or the number of fans and followers of our profiles on various platforms and blog. Social media revolves around the notion of engagement, not just activity. Engagement with your social network or tribes will ultimately be affected by the perception of “value” in what you post or share. Via social, I have surrounded myself with like-minded people that I can have a symbiotic relationship with. Many of the folks I follow on Twitter I follow because I can learn from them and I value the content they produce. This holds true for B2B and B2C social relationships as well.
Measure and Review

Measuring value makes significantly more sense than passive “likes” and quantity of followers. Measuring value can be done by considering “action”. What actions occurred because of value offered: Did visitors to the blog subscribe? Did a subscriber convert to a customer? Was a donation made (non-profits)? Did Facebook fans or Twitter followers share content from the blog? These build sustainable relationships that for businesses can increase revenue.

Clear, specific objectives, and measurable KPI’s need to be identified early on. Over time, effective social reporting can illuminate the impact (or lack thereof) of social media actions on customer activity. There are several very useful dashboards that give the user the ability to track and measure multiple platforms. Such as Hootsuite and Google Analytics (two of my top 3) Others worthy of mention (various levels of analysis and reporting) for you all to consider are:
Buffer (one of my top 3)
Facebook Pages Manager App
LinkedIn’s Skills and Expertise page (formerly known as Pinerly)

Measurement is an ongoing process, compare numbers weekly, or for some monthly. Plans must be flexible and be easily modified based on results and analysis.

Analyze Social Actions to Identify what Works and Identify New Opportunities

Look for the successes as well! Of course, acknowledging failures is a great learning tool, but identifying successes allows you to also identify possible opportunities you may be overlooking. Also consider missed opportunities. Both missed and overlooked opportunities are most often a result of lack of monitoring and/or engagement. Social media is two-way dialogue. Listening and replying when appropriate are key! Consider a classic missed opportunity to engage during Florida Senator Marco Rubio’s speech and sip of Poland Springs Water in February 2013. This was a huge missed opportunity for the brand to engage with the public, tweets that included the terms ‘Rubio’ and ‘water’ peaked at 57,466 mentions. This particular case would be best addressed in real time, but other not so obvious opportunities can be missed such as the opportunity to create loyal customers, nurture brand advocates, or even benefit from un-intentional crowdsourcing of ideas on a Facebook page.

By systematically reviewing data and comparing it, brands are better able to understand their fans, followers, and customers. In the case of my MBA students and our blog, previous semesters have found many opportunities for our “brand” to flourish! For example, some blog posts were shared and commented on more than others. By reading the comments carefully it identified a topic our readers really were interested about and wanted to know more about. We also looked at what posts were shared more on Twitter than others. It was found that some of our posts were more shareable than others.

For the full un-edited article, click here.

Whats on my reading list?!

reading list

I have been asked several times of the past few weeks what is on my reading list over the Holiday Break. Well, I am busy working hard to finish grading Finals, Final Papers, and preparing material for the Spring terms so that I can truly have a “break” over the holidays. That being said, I have not come with some elaborate list, just a simple photo of my bookshelf that has been holding 3 books I hope to read for the past 2 months! Note I have linked to Amazon and author websites/blogs. I suggest reading the reviews on Amazon and exploring the authors site as well.

Big Data MarketingLisa Arthur
Maximize Your SocialNeal Schaefer
Brands & RousersLuis Gallardo

I hope you will join me and read one or all of these titles and tell me your thoughts below!

My top 15 Social Media Marketing Blogs worth subscribing to

mkhmarketing / Foter / CC BY

As I am wrapping up a Graduate term, I wanted to share with my students a few of my favorite blogs! I have posted a few of my favorite folks to follow on Twitter in my post 15 folks you must follow if you’re “all about” Social Media Marketing, and some Feeds/blogs will be duplicated to some extent. But, take a moment to visit each of these sites and subscribe! This list is by no means exhaustive, just a short list and a great way to not only curate content but to continue learning about this ever changing facet of business.

Of course to top the list are two sites where I have contributed blog posts:
Neal Schaffer’s
and Mark Schaefer’s

And if you liked this post, subscribe to THIS blog!

Top Apps and Tools for Social Media Marketers

If you are a follower of this blog and the Social Media MBA series, you will recall we have discussed social media platforms and their potential uses for businesses and consumers. This month, I want you to be thinking about the technology that is enabling social media and how it drives new business.

Social media has changed the way people use the Internet and it has shaped the technology used to deliver it. It has created new ways to drive business and it has changed the way brands market products and services. While enabling social interaction and the creation of new communities for both businesses and consumers, social media has strengthened the connections between brands and consumers.

Social media has also shaped technology that can help drive business. For example, Apple’s iPhone has become THE digital device for nearly every task one needs to accomplish, and as a bonus – you can make phone calls with it! As mobile technology keeps advancing, new Apps are being developed daily and are simplifying everything from depositing your paycheck, to setting your DVR, to counting down the days until your summer vacation. You name it, there is an App for it. App developers are eager to provide the social consumer and the social media marketer with the tools to accomplish daily business and personal tasks. Let’s look at some popular Apps geared towards the marketer.

Top Apps for Social Media Marketers:

Analytics App gives you mobile access to your Google Analytics data. For every social media effort, we want to be able to measure our successes, or ‘near’ successes. Focus: Measurement

Facebook allows you access to your Facebook account on your smart phone. Facebook allows brands to engage with consumer via posting photos, videos, sending direct messages, and posting on ‘timelines’.
Focus: Engagement

Hootsuite is a web-based dashboard that can manage multiple Twitter accounts, allow multiple users to access an account, and manage multiple social networks (LinkedIn, FaceBook, Twitter, WordPress). Additionally, Hootsuite allows you to schedule messages on different days and different times. This is an exceptional time management tool! Hootsuite also enables the user to track links and click-throughs. The HootSuite App complements a HootSuite web account. Focus: Engagement and Measurement

LinkedIn allows you access to your LinkedIn account on your smart phone. LinkedIn is a business oriented social network that allows you to post a photo, career history, education, and skills while offering a search function to network with existing colleagues and the opportunity to establish more connections.
Focus: Connecting and Collaborating

Spout provides a steady stream of news, tweets, messages, comments from your Facebook, and other RSS feeds. What is enticing about this app is the presentation of the media and visuals. It is quite pleasing to the eye. You may like as well. I have recently started using Triberr, check it out!
Focus: Engagement, Connecting, Learning and more.

Tweetdeck is a desktop and mobile application similar to Hootsuite in that it helps manage your social media accounts. However, it does not offer the analytics that Hootsuite does. The Tweetdeck App compliments the Tweetdeck dashboard.
Focus: Engagement

Read the entire article at WindmillNetworking.

photo credit: Robert Scoble via photo pin cc

Looking to the future of social media by looking to the past

Ed Yourdon / / CC BY-SA

As we round the bend to the end of another term of learning and applying the principles of social media marketing, I wonder what the future will bring to the social media world. I have spoken to my classes about the history of Marketing, the emergence of social media, and how we utilize social platforms and tools for B2C and B2B. But, now we need to consider what new tools, processes, trends, and gaps could appear as social media becomes more pervasive, effective, and required in business.

In the future, I think we will see a further evolution of how we produce and consume marketing messages as well an increase in the value of information produced via social (for business and consumers). Some points to consider:


I believe the future of social media can be seen by looking to the past. Humans by nature are social creatures, however we have spent years relying on mass media. As time has passed, we are now relying less on mass media and more on our peers: we are once again turning to one another. Consider your friends on Facebook or those you follow on Twitter. Via social, I have surrounded myself with like minded people that I can have a symbiotic relationship with. Many of the folks I follow on Twitter I follow because I can learn from them and I value the content they produce.


Relevant connections, content, and communications will remain increasingly important in order to cancel out the “noise”. As consumers continue to be bombarded with tweets, status updates, mobile marketing messages and the like, it will be paramount for these communications to be relevant, timely, and personalized. This is true for the business as well. I see the future of social including smaller more niche social groups organized by brands to further identify consumer needs, research, and for crowdsourcing purposes.

Social CRM

If your business is on a social platform and engaging, good for you. If you are not utilizing it to facilitate customer service, shame on you. Obviously, this will take some planning on your part to prepare staff and get processes in place for customer service inquiries. Nevertheless, the benefits far outweigh the costs in this situation. Consider the company who is “on Twitter” and ignores customer inquiries made via tweets. This is the equivalent of having a customer at your business, asking you a question (with a store full of other customers and potential customers) while you stand there not listening with your hands covering your ears.

We have seen an evolution in Social Media. For those, like me, who have been on the social platforms for over 7 years… look at how LinkedIn and Twitter have changed. LinkedIn is becoming more Spammy and irrelevant (aka more like Facebook) with more users that are not as professionally invested and Twitter is now my go to source for the most up to date news. Leveraging socials “best self” is a worthwhile endeavor for business. However, there are still many challenges ahead as we embark in a new era of business and marketing where social no longer stands on its own but is part of the emerging digital marketing landscape.

Um Hello?! Are your listening ears on: CRM and Social Media

Customers have so many more choices than ever before. This gives them the power to demand more from businesses. This same new technology that is enabling the consumer, is also giving businesses the capability of initiating multi-channel strategies for communicating with customers. These emerging, real-time platforms such as the Internet, Apps, and other social media channels place new strains on a network’s existing infrastructure. However, they also generate large amounts of data that contain valuable insight into customer behavior and preferences. Specifically, the use of mobile devices and social media is gathering enormous amounts of personal data that can be a real asset to businesses. Unfortunately, there are businesses not making the most of the data available and there are others not even utilizing the platforms to access this data.

CRM professionals must develop an infrastructure that allows for the sharing of information and effective communication. Social CRM is a tool businesses need to utilize. They need to embrace it! With the use of a variety of social media platforms (such as blogs, FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube etc.) businesses have a direct line to the end consumer for communicating about their products or services. Consumers are online talking about the brands, and the brands need to listen. If businesses can identify unmet expectations and where the strongest expectations exist, they will be more likely to realize an increase in market share and profitability.

In order to do this, they must know more about their customers. Brands must talk, listen, and interact with customers more often and with more relevancy in new and innovative ways. The use of social media platforms is one way to drive engagement and participation to create and nurture relationships with customers and potential customers. This is an exciting time for marketers with the technology available to manage customer information, data, trends, and relationships as well as the new social environment that creates a one-on-one marketing opportunity.

In what ways are you listening to your customer?
Have you responded or interacted?
If yes, how? If no, shame on you! Subscribe to this blog ASAP!

photo credit: niclindh via photopin cc
photo credit: stefanomaggi via photopin cc