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October 23, 2008
Social Media is One Component of Broader Communications Strategy
 
The world of Socialized Media is maturing and along with it, our knowledge, expertise, reach, and personal and represented brands are only flourishing. It will continue as long as we realize that these new social tools and networks require an entirely new commitment and embodiment of what we personify and how we can be a genuine resource to the people who define the communities that are important to us.

At the end of the day, everything that’s transpiring around us is actually improving the existing foundation for our business, from service to marketing to product development to sales to executive management, and everything in between.
 
 
Social marketing revitalizes and empowers every facet of our workflow and its supporting ecosystem. Seeing the bigger picture and tying our knowledge to the valuable feedback from our communities will help us guide businesses towards visibility, profitability, relevance and ultimately customer loyalty.

Yes, everything is changing. Many have drawn the conclusion that Social Media marketers or Social Media consultants are to the new Web, what Webmasters were to Web 1.0. There’s a rush of excitement and enthusiasm tied to entrepreneurialism and significant short-term profitability in leading, creating, and participating in all things Social. This new breed of expert marketers represent the future of marketing communications indeed, but it is a future that is uncharted, undocumented and forever evolving; meaning, social media is not the final frontier, but merely an important chapter in an ongoing saga that will be studied and advanced for years to come.
 
For every Social Media expert, we must remember, that there are many more human beings out there who are not using social tools to communicate, but are still equally important to our bottom line. Therefore, our job is to connect our story and our value propositions to people wherever they go to discover and share information - even if it's in the real world. Social Media is a critical part of a larger, more complete sales, service, communications, and marketing strategy that reflects and adapts to markets and the people who define them.
 
Therefore we should be realistic in how we integrate Social strategies into the human-powered machine of listening, learning, engaging and evolving.
 
Social Media is a lesson.
 
Social Media delivers new communications tools.
 
Social Media is a distribution channel.
 
Social Media is a means, not an end.
 
Social Media is a revelation that we the people have a voice and through the democratization of content and ideas, we can once again unite people around common passions, inspire movement, and ignite change.

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Brian Solis is the author of "Engage," a new book that helps businesses build, cultivate, and measure success in social media. You can follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

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