In Social, Build it Together

by Kim Taylor

If you’ve been following our blog, you know we talk quite a bit about social media. So when I had the opportunity to guest post on Andrew Worob’s blog, “PR at Sunrise,” I thought it’d be helpful to share a little Social Media 101.  If you didn’t catch it there, here’s the post:

The folks over at Read Write Web believe Social Media will peak in 2012, but there are a whole slew of organizations who’ve barely dipped their toes in the water.  And with that, even more who are hesitating because they’re not sure who ‘owns’ social media, or how multiple departments within an organization can work together.

Should the Client Engage in Social at All?

Despite pressure for every person, place and thing to have a Facebook Page or Twitter account, it’s a mistake to think that it’s right for every business.  Before embarking on any social media campaign, your first step should be to determine whether it makes sense as a part of the overall marketing and communications strategy.

What Do We Want to Accomplish through Social Media?

Are you trying to boost sales?  Push your message out?  Share news?  Or, use it as a customer service tool?  All of the above?  Then this question is of particular importance to you.  Whether you’re a member of the marketing, public relations, sales or customer service departments, your end goal should be the same.

Who Should Take the Social Media Lead?

While collaboration among departments—as noted above—is generally ideal, it also prevents your brand message from being diluted.  Social Media is about engagement, and as such, it takes time to build quality relationships that can leverage the kind of results typically expected by those in sales departments.

There’s been a strong push among many in PR to lead this effort, and to me, it only seems logical.  After all, it’s folks in PR who are the content creators.  Social networks simply provide an additional medium by which to share that content.

Can They Build It Together?

The old-school mindset that the goal of sales teams is simply to find prospects and close deals, while PR teams build relationships and publicize products, needs a re-tooling … especially where social media is concerned.  Like never before, customer service, marketing, sales, public relations and advertising need to overlap, educate one another, and build a communications strategy together.

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