Social Media Works…As Part of a Larger Campaign

Social Media Today asks the question: are we really missing the point about the strategies we create using these technologies?

It’s true, the number of followers you have on your Twitter account matters and the percentage of readers coming to your blog via an RSS reader are important.

But the real value of social media campaigns emerges when they’re connected to other elements of a broader communications and marketing campaign. Social media should be a component of the core campaign, and an important one.

From Social Media Today:

The other day in an article that’s gained a lot of attention, Guardian tech journalist Bobbie Johnson proclaimed that he’s done with social media. If you haven’t done so it’s definitely worth a read. In summary Bobbie says:

“I’ve had it with social media. Not social networking per se, but the incessant chatter about how “social media” is changing the world. How it’s going mainstream. How it’s the biggest change we’ve ever seen.”

So we have the incessant squawking of “experts”, and the talking up of the same people again and again and again as the ones everyone should ‘follow’ – something Kevin Palmer discusses in a great post entitled ‘The social media echo chamber makes me not want to listen.’

At its worst, it manifests itself in people pruning their friend lists down so they can game the ranking system Twitter Grader (which awards a higher score if more people follow you than the other way around) – really, who cares.

The core problem is that social media is being looked at in isolation as something only to be touched by a select group of gurus. Instead, to my mind it should be an intrinsic part of every marcoms campaign – you have an idea of how you are going to target print, broadcast and also online.

It’s a component of the core campaign, and an important one. But it doesn’t sit on its own.

So while I completely get why organisations have individuals like the excellent Shannon Paul (Detroit RedWings), Kelly Feller (Intel) and Scott Monty (Ford) on-board to operate in this space, it seems to make less sense for actual agencies to set up specialist divisions – and every week I still read about someone here in the UK doing just that. For the reasons mentioned above, we took the opposite approach.

We once had a division (Herd was originally the name of it, I simply kept the URL for the blog). But we stopped that last year, thinking that it would be better to skill up all the core account handlers in online media knowledge. And while one or two of the Cows like myself definitely have more of an interest in this area, I’d never bill myself as an ‘expert’!

So the backlash is in full swing, as demonstrated by those two videos below. Maybe no bad thing. Bobbie says at the end of his piece, “I’m sick of “social media sensations”. And I’m sick of social media. Social media is people. People talk about stuff. The end.”

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