Put on Your Specs for A Holistic View: Social Media Integration

By Dean Opriasa Today’s marketing activities are ever so changing. Old school meets new school with traditional media and social media often crossing over. And because they do, integrating activities across the marketing mix only makes sense.

We’ve never had so many tools available to us to deliver our messages to targeted users. Consumers are expanding their use of social media beyond mobile and incorporating it into everyday lives. Even with the continued development and improvement of tools, technology, strategies, and communication, we still keep social media, PR, marketing, customer service, and email functioning separately. The silo approach is so 2011 so get with it and integrate in 2012!

Social media in a vacuum will not work. Social will need to be tightly integrated with traditional PR, advertising, and CRM in order to stand out from the crowd. It will become the leading driver behind customer service, competitive research, brand development and marketing. Of course, interwoven disciplines will warrant integration of data. Integrating data gathered on social platforms with insights will be key to develop the "bigger picture" of consumer interests, wants, and needs. Moreover, as companies grow and understand the data available, and how to act based on insights, more emphasis will be put on influence and effectiveness and less on the numbers of fans and followers.

The fact is, social media is becoming a discipline in it self. Major brands and early adopters alike are joining in and investing a lot. Abandoning the stand-alone approach and ensuring that activities across departments and social media are working together is necessary. It should be seen as a team working together. Sales needs to work with marketing and PR. Just as sales and customer service need to work closely together.

Some brands who have integrated social well are:

Kodak 

Kodak was the first company to have a Chief Listening Officer, which showed their dedication to listening and shows that they are open to feedback from their customers.

 

Best Buy

One of Best Buy’s focus on their customer service program is the Social Customer Care Team, which is a team of full time “community connectors” who respond directly on CS issues on official accounts. These fully-trained customer agents are the voices of Best Buy.

Cisco 

Cisco Systems used an integrated social strategy to interact with customers and prospects which has resulted in improved customer service, engaged customers and loyal customers. With this strategy Cisco is able to find out and resolve issues their consumers are facing.

Considering the amount of social media platforms available, the adage “Be everywhere” should be “Be where it matters for you.” Incorporating means working better together for efforts to go seamlessly. With this in mind, focusing on what or where it really works for you should be really looked at.

Pick the channels that makes the most sense, listen to what others are saying and engage in the conversation, and most importantly, keep it simple.

How are you integrating your efforts in the new year?