The Social Media MBA: Part 5: Application and Integration of Social Media

The-Social-Media-MBA-Part-5-Application-and-Integration-of-Social-Media-V2 copy

Social media marketing is an extension of traditional marketing methods, principles, and theory.  Successful marketing, regardless if it is Social or not, revolves around AIDA, a traditional marketing concept!  You have to get your customer’s Attention, build their Interest in your product, and convince them they want your offer by building Desire. Finally, the consumer will take Action and make a purchase. Social media is a tool to accomplish all of this.  In some ways, it can be a better, more efficient way, but again it is still just a tool in your marketing tool belt.

Social media gives business a chance to expand traditional methods and involve customers in the marketing process. In many cases, they end up being the ones doing the marketing for you! For example, a company Facebook page is a great way to post updates about products or services, as well as inviting customers to post pictures and comments about the products/services. The real time nature of Facebook makes it an ideal “one day only” promotional tool, and an effective way to integrate traditional with social.

With traditional marketing, we aim to sell products to result in a profit or ROI. With social, we hope to create and maintain relationships, which makes it harder to measure with metrics.  And we all know the issues surrounding ROI and social media! Everyone wants a calculated ROI, proof that Social is ‘working”.  Traditional campaigns are easier to measure success than a social strategy.  I prefer not to think of social media strategies as “campaigns”, as that implies there is a definite start and stop date. There is not. Social intends to create connections and maintain long-term relationships. This is a huge difference.

Social is also a great way to help clarify the messages you send through traditional marketing.  With social media, you can create a dialogue with your customers to ensure the right messages are relayed. The key is relevancy, and interaction with your customers via social media allows us to achieve this. We are able to have conversations with our customers that uncover what they want, need, and expect from us.

Traditional marketing and social marketing must be integrated and nurtured in order to realize the full potential of a very powerful combo. Without fully integrating the two, businesses can take on great risks related to over-dependence on one or over-use of another. Businesses must define their strategy, roles, and expectations of social media before integration and implementation.

Integration of social communication and engagement with the traditional requirements of metrics, results, and traditional campaigns can be a daunting task. When you find a way to merge the two, you can develop a powerful marketing strategy that utilizes the best of both. The trick is that each business is case specific. There is not ONE way to successfully integrate the two across the board. Each product, service, or company has specific needs that may make them a better match with certain social media platforms and strategies over others.  A business should ask these basic questions:

  1. What is my goal?
  2. Who is my audience? What social platform(s) do they use?
  3. How will I create relevant conversation? How will I communicate with them after I have made contact?
  4. How will I get them to “share”? Referrals are a huge source of revenue with little cost to you.

Integration of social media with traditional marketing requires the understanding that there are differences between the ways we communicate. With social, we are now talking with our customers as opposed to at them via traditional methods. Likewise, social media is both outbound marketing and inbound marketing. For example, consider such roles product development and product support. There is now the blending of social media and customer service that contributes to addressing complaints over different platforms such as Twitter or Facebook.

Integration may be difficult as social is often handled by those with a different background than say those in traditional marketing.  Similarly, there are differences between those with a social media agency, the brands marketing department, and those from an ad agency.  Sometimes it can be hard for these folks to communicate with each other.  Yes, imagine that, marketing people not communicating well.  It does happen!

The right amount of traditional marketing mixed with the right amount of social media marketing can be recipe for success! It’s a bit like my recipe for salsa, which I admit is darn good. It is the result of making it time and time again, while making subtle changes to perfect the outcome. It requires just the right amounts of traditional salsa ingredients with a few ‘unusual’ ones (of which I am not willing to divulge).

Have you found your magic recipe for success with mixing traditional with social? Tell me about it.

The views expressed are those of the author, and do not represent those of Texas A&M University-Commerce or Southern New Hampshire University unless stated explicitly.

About the Author:

Jessica Rogers

This monthly Social Media MBA column is contributed by Jessica Rogers. Jessica is a Dallas based Adjunct Marketing Instructor at Texas A&M University- Commerce and Full time Faculty at Southern New Hampshire University. She is currently working on her PhD in Business with an emphasis on Marketing; her dissertation research is focused on Social Media. Jessica teaches both undergraduate and graduate level courses in Marketing, including Social Media, and has 16 years of field experience in business and marketing before starting her teaching career in 2009. Jessica holds a BS in Business Administration and an MS in Marketing. +Jessica Rogers

Jessica Rogers
This monthly Social Media MBA column is contributed by Jessica Rogers. Jessica is a Dallas based Adjunct Marketing Instructor at Texas A&M University- Commerce and Full time Faculty at Southern New Hampshire University. She is currently working on her PhD in Business with an emphasis on Marketing; her dissertation research is focused on Social Media. Jessica teaches both undergraduate and graduate level courses in Marketing, including Social Media, and has 16 years of field experience in business and marketing before starting her teaching career in 2009. Jessica holds a BS in Business Administration and an MS in Marketing. +Jessica Rogers
Jessica Rogers
#smss2014

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Social media marketing can seem overwhelming. When you start out it can feel like no one is listening, then once it picks up there aren’t enough hours in the day to respond to everyone on every channel. Not only is it difficult to measure its metrics and ROI, but with all of the options out there it can be hard to know where to even begin. While most companies today have a presence on some form of social media, many channels are underutilized. Insites Consulting’s Van Belleghem and De Meester state 68% of companies have a Facebook page, 56% own a Twitter account and 47% are on LinkedIn (4). That may seem fairly high, but their findings go on to state that, “4 out of 10 companies are still in the early stages of integration of social media” (5). Just because you have a brand page does not mean that you are truly optimizing the space. Developing new brand pages can be time consuming, but if done correctly, “…You can create a dialogue with your customers to ensure the right messages are relayed,” and, “uncover what they want, need, and expect” (Rogers). [...]

Please Leave a Comment!