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TWO APPROACHES TO INCORPORATING SOCIAL MEDIA INTO MARKETING

If you're looking to leverage social media, remember that it should not stand alone. Social media can (and should) be a way to extend your other marketing efforts.

There are two primary approaches to incorporating social media, depending on how you're structured and what you're trying to accomplish:

1. New Media to Traditional Media – This approach involves creating a digital or social media strategy first. That strategy might involve specific campaigns and ongoing content shared on Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn. Then, you review other marketing efforts and look for synergies and duplication.

2. Traditional Media to New Media – A traditional marketing or PR initiative might add social media components or work with its social media manager to give legs to the effort.

THE NEW MODEL: GETTING YOUR FIRM REHIND A SOCIAL MEDIA PROGRAM

However a firm chooses to go about marketing with social media, one thing is clear: It's all about change – and bringing together key stakeholders.

Sunayna Tuteja, director of social business at TD Ameritrade, explains that the adoption of social media first began with start-up firms, where change is the mantra, and ideas could be quickly implemented.

Today, however, the fundamentals of social media are more broadly grasped. “Everyone knows what Twitter is and how it's used,” she says. That's changed the model of how one transforms a firm into a social one, able not only to operate in the outside social world but internally as well, often in large and complex organizations.

“The early model,” she continues, “was a command and control model – someone had to take the bull by the horns, whether it was in employee training or best practices, and then roll it out. But that's not sustainable from a long perspective.”

The new model? Enablement and empowerment. As you manage change when moving your practice into the social world, consider these implications:

Reactive versus Proactive – Whether it's managing their brand, customer service, or client engagement, firms have to ask if they want to react to what's said about them on social media or move proactively to shape their reputation.

The Risk of Delay – Anything a consumer posts is public, and remains in its place there forever. Regulators will naturally ask: “What did you do with this post on this date and how was it resolved?” Clearly, developing policies and identifying or building the right platforms doesn't happen

overnight. If a company needs resources, there is a significant mountain of risk of not doing it.

Governance Structure – The decision to enter a social property has an impact on everyone and only underscores the importance of clarity around roles and decision making. Firms need to have either a leader who can make unilateral decisions (generally reporting to either technology or marketing) or a governance structure involving key stakeholders.

 
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