Saturday, 13 September 2008

Putting Social Media in its Place

Peter Kim recently posted a thoughtful article on the scalability of social media as an effective marketing medium. Peter argues that social media works well as an element of the marketing mix but does not naturally or effectively fit at either end of the marketing spectrum. With the utmost respect, I am not sure that I entirely agree, I think that a solid social media strategy can be additive at both extremes; from awareness - best provided by the mass media, to conversion - best provided by the varied mechanisms of direct marketing, irrespective of the platform, on or off-line.

In my opinion, the best place for social media tactics is across the entire continuum of marketing activities. The most effective social media campaigns have been extensions of mass advertising (I give you the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty). Furthermore, in terms of activation or conversion, I am intrigued by the potential of inter-connecting search and social media marketing and how this - most direct - of marketing mechanisms can be made more effective by the application of well thought out and integrated social media campaigns. At the simplest level, think about semantics and how the language used in customer generated content can be used to inform search strategies (oh and vice-versa...)

10 comments:

Peter Kim said...

Hi Mark - the more I think about social media, the more I agree with you. Dove Evolution is a great example of Awareness; Dell Outlet on Twitter is Conversion. Which leads me to a different question...what exactly is "social" media, anyway...?

jonathanmendez said...

You're spot on. Search & Social are joined at the hip and it's because SEOs understand the power of SM to get attention (clicks) to their sites. They also know the tactics both for direct traffic & and SERP rankings. For those reasons (IMO) the SM teams within Agencies should always be integrated with the SEO teams in much the same way that Landing Page developers need to work hand-in-hand with those buying ads.

diana said...

Peter Kim said...

"... what exactly is "social" media, anyway...?"

I've always liked the idea of calling these kinds of initiatives "participatory marketing"

Ari Herzog said...

Whether you call something social media, participatory marketing, or anything else, why is it necessary to settle on a term that changes every day?

At a birthday party over the weekend, where everyone was in their early 30s, only two people heard of "social media" but when I said Facebook (because most of them had Facebook pages), they grasped what I meant.

Maybe these buzz words are not creating buzz outside the so-called industry of people participating in it.

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