There are at least 8 ways that social media changes marketing and PR and overall business communications.
I think this list applies to most industries, to varying degrees. Understanding these changes and adapting your communication strategies sooner rather than later offers many advantages.
Here’s the list in slide form, followed by the text version for easy sharing.
(Please comment and share with me any ways you think social is changing everything and I’ll include them in a future version.)
All events happens in real time.
Social media is live media. If a customer service issue happens, it’s tweeted in the moment and people start reacting. This presents both huge challenges and opportunities. Effective rapid response can prevent issues form getting out of control, while lack of timely response can be costly. Learn how to work in real time.
Marketing, public relations, branding and client support get all mixed up together.
The business silos are being torn down by social media. Resolving a client’s complaint online is a way to demonstrate your value proposition to a new prospect. Effective online branding is not only a business development strategy, but also a recruiting strategy for new talent. Nothing happens in isolation any more, so start thinking about how to reorganize your teams accordingly.
It’s a dialogue, not a monologue.
Social media is not a new pipe for the old marketing messages. No one cares about your marketing. They have their own needs and cares and you need to start listening to them and talking about things people want to hear. We have two ears and one mouth for a reason.
You have no control, only influence.
Social media levels the communications playing field. Smaller companies can compete with larger ones and customers have more influence then ever before on how you are perceived in the marketplace. Old-fashioned marketers are afraid of this lack of control. New-thinking marketers embrace it and use social media to cultivate influence.
You can’t outsource your voice.
You can buy a tool. You can buy a strategy. You can buy a creative person to produce content. But you cannot hire someone to be you in your social networks as well as you can be you. So don’t try.
Attention is the most scarce commodity of all.
People’s attention is the most valuable commodity of all in this new economy of influence. It’s also the most scarce. Even a few people who are paying attention and care can make a big difference in your markets. Attract attention and when you get it, don’t squander it.
The time you spend is more precious than the money.
Social networking is about relationships between people. Sure, great content gets peoples’ attention and provokes sharing and conversations. But when someone steps forward and wants to engage, taking the time to engage is the most valuable thing you can do. No amount of fancy gifts, offers or trinkets can replace human engagement as a driver of business.
Personal brand is as important as corporate brand.
Social media has levelled the brandscape and put a powerful set of tools in the hands of individuals. In most businesses, people do business with people – and not just any people. People do business with people they know, like and trust. If you’re not leveraging your personal brand to show people who you are and what you believe in, you’re leaving money on the table.