Debbie Laskey On Social Media, Brand Audits And Leadership Books



Debbie Laskey has 15 years of marketing experience and an MBA Degree. She developed her marketing expertise while working in the high-tech industry, the Consumer Marketing Department at Disneyland Paris in France, the non-profit arena, and the insurance industry. 

Her expertise includes brand marketing, social media, employee engagement, leadership development, and customer experience marketing.

This week, Debbie was kind enough to answer the following three questions about social media and marketing:

Question 1. What are the biggest mistakes business leaders make when it comes to social media for their company?

Laskey:  There are three key mistakes business leaders make regarding social media.

First, there is the "what's social media" mistake. Some leaders think it's something their kids do or Mark Zuckerberg did when he dropped out of college. However, social media can be an effective marketing tool when it is designed and implemented in alignment with an overall marketing plan which includes traditional marketing (brand marketing, collateral, advertising, PR, digital and mobile marketing, etc.). Social media cannot be effective if it is done in a vacuum.

Second, there is the "what's the voice" mistake. Some leaders think their social media strategy can be created and implemented by an intern or a relative. While a business would not trust its finances to an intern, it should only trust its social media to a full-time member of its marketing team. Social media must align with all other forms of marketing, PR, and promotions - and it must use the same "look-and-feel" and "brand voice." Therefore, take the time to make sure there is brand consistency among all social platforms (logos, avatars, business "about" descriptions, etc.).

Third, there is the "social media ROI" mistake. Some leaders think they can measure their social media initiatives with a dollar amount. However, as with many marketing initiatives, there is no ROI the day after a campaign launches. Therefore, determine the objectives of a social media campaign before starting. For example, if your business creates a Facebook page for a special event, plan the content calendar as well as the number of likes, the number of comments, and the number of shares that would be considered successful.

Question 2.  Marketing options are greater than ever before.  Despite all the choices, what are a couple basics business leaders should implement no matter what?

Laskey:  All business leaders should implement a regular brand audit. In today's competitive business climate, industry leaders shift, and as a result, new opportunities may be evident tomorrow that weren't evident today. Every 12-18 months, analyze your brand strengths and weaknesses as well as those of your competitors.

All business leaders should conduct brainstorming sessions with key representatives from all departments within the company. This type of teamwork is critical for positive cultures and morale.



Question 3.  What book do you recommend business leaders read to help them navigate today's world of marketing?

Laskey:  My favorite business book was something I read in grad school in 1995, and it remains my favorite to this day. Jim Collins,' Built To Last, addresses the question, "Why are some companies able to achieve and sustain success through multiple generations of leaders, across decades, and even centuries?" Here are some comments from Jim Collins about the book.

Laskey has been honored by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the Los Angeles City Council and been recognized as a "Woman Making a Difference" by the Los Angeles Business Journal.

Since 2002, she has served as a judge for the Web Marketing Association’s annual web award competition and has also been recognized as one of the "Top 100 Branding Experts" to follow on Twitter. Currently, Laskey is the Director of Marketing and Communications for the Exceptional Children's Foundation in Los Angeles (www.ECF.net).

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