Marketing, Social Media

A media nerd’s perspective on social “media”

This week’s post is inspired by a conversation I had with a MAIP (Multicultural Advertising Intern Program with the AAAAs) candidate and an article from Smartbrief on Social Media, SmartBlog on Social Media’s “Why are entrepreneurs so worried about social media?”

I was asked by the Interviewee, “what is the trend that is affecting the advertising industry so much?” Without hesitation I said “social media.”

But my perspective is a little more narrow-focused as I know that there are many large companies out there have figured out ways to play, either through their own teams, or through hiring “experts.” My opinions are based on what I’ve witnessed with advertising agencies trying to sell their social media services, and now with the article I read this week, how entrepreneurs are hesitant about jumping on the bandwagon.

I have been asked many times in the past few years to come up with a “social media strategy.” This has brought about a lot of hesitation with my peers and myself because, while I am a “media strategist,” “social media” isn’t exactly all “media.” It’s a hodgepodge of advertising placement, public relations announcements, copy-writing blurbs, marketing communications, and chitchat. How can one person in one department ever be able to put together a comprehensive program on behalf of a client, and make it so turnkey that the client will actually implement it because they’re too busy with their own work that they can’t possibly participate in this social media arena as well?!? (Wooh, glad to get that off of my chest.)

This is where just finding people who understand strategy can help you. Not “social media gurus” or ad agencies, PR firms, or your teenage neighbor who has a killer facebook page. As a person with a business, you need to find consultants that understand promoting businesses and that are hip enough and smart enough to know when social media is strategically important to increase your bottom line (or goodwill, if you’re into that), or not, right?

And so while I can give you all of this great advice, I would need to completely dive into your business and become a communications partner that only focuses on Social Media. If you hire a marketing person to oversee marketing, and they oversee a PR person and an ad agency or equivalent, think about hiring a Social Media person. And that person will need to exude all of the qualities that the marketing person, PR person, and ad agency have altogether. It’s that important that they “get it all.”

Once again, I’ve gone really long. Sorry about that. I would love to know your opinion about this topic and how it relates to either entrepreneurs, ad agencies, or how companies (big or small) are getting it right. Don’t forget to read the article from SmartBlog, but it’s the comments from a few of the people that are pretty good… I liked Victor Lund’s, @KarenEman’s, Seth Duncan’s, and Gerard McClean’s, if you don’t have time to read through them all.

3 thoughts on “A media nerd’s perspective on social “media””

  1. Great post, Patti! I think your perspective on this is absolutely right. It’s so important for the so-called “social media guru” to understand all aspects of marketing. More often than not, this doesn’t happen. Social media is cool and easily accessible and everyone thinks they can do it. As a (albeit slightly inexperience) marketing professional who has been working with social media marketing for 2 years, I still struggle with finding the right mix. It’s coming soon…I hope!

  2. Patti,

    Thanks for the “shout out” in your blog!

    Your definition of social media as “a hodgepodge of advertising placement, public relations announcements, copy-writing blurbs, marketing communications, and chitchat” correctly states why business owners are so unsure of how to “do” social media. A less scary defintion of social media might be “people sharing and having conversations online.”

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