We have been tackling the topic of social media this month, and I want to take it into the realm of integration for a bit...
So just how does social media fit in the grand scheme of things? Perfectly, in fact, as it compliments the majority of the interactive marketing we are already engaged in. From PPC to SEO, online contests to brand building, social media can be used in conjunction with other efforts to boost not only brand equity online but also conversions.
Several recent marketing endeavors for our clients have included social media as a component. Social media marketing has been used to further the conversation online with the ultimate goal of singling out brand advocates and planting the seeds they need to carry our brand message to their social web. From carrying on brand conversations in blogs and forums to establishing a brand's presence in well established social networking arenas such as MySpace and Facebook, social media marketing is a natural extension of a user's current online behavior. We have chosen to use social media in conjunction with more mainstream interactive efforts because we believe it places our message exactly where it needs to be found.
To this end, we may place display advertising on a site where conversations have been very positive and numerous in an effort to further the brand advocacy we have already enjoyed. We may divert PPC media to the same blog temporarily to bolster traffic and discussion about our brand.
Bottom line: Social media is not always a singular activity or marketing endeavor. It represents one of many arrows we keep in the proverbial quiver to help our brands truly achieve online brand dominance. While social media was not coined until recently, the platform has been around for years and choosing not to take advantage of its tremendous benefits is the equivalent of sticking your head in the sand.
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