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All Media is Social

Here’s something you probably hadn’t thought of, if your definition of social media is the management of Twitter and Facebook profiles, you’re behind the curve. Here’s a bombshell, all media is social. I expect this revelation to upset lots of professionals who have modified their career paths to become social media experts. Before you throw your arms up in despair, there are some things you need to know if you intend on seeing any benefit from your endeavors.

Yes, all media is social. This includes TV, radio, out of home, print, viral, direct mail, etc. Everything done under the guise of a brand’s umbrella is now social media. Of course this deviates from many people’s modern interpretations that social media is simply posting morsels of information on Facebook or quirky status updates on Twitter, or maintaining an edgy pinboard on Pinterest. What I mean by this, and I know you’ll agree is that all actions have the potential to excite or incite, which can either be boons to a social media endeavor or the death knell that destroys a brand.

Let’s roll back the clock a year and a half or so to remeber the day that Netflix said they made a hard and fast change to their company and now you’ll be paying 60% more for the same service that you grew to know and love. This was at the top of the list as one of the most boneheaded moves a brand has ever made. The cost of this blunder helped tank the stock price and alienate the loyal customer base that helped spread the word of a wonderful DVD delivery and video streaming business. Customers weren’t shy about expressing their heartfelt opinions on their own Twitter and Facebook pages, or even on Netflix’s own page.

Here’s the funny thing, a notice to increase prices and change the terms of service would have been lost in the sauce even ten years earlier. It may have created some media buzz, but it would have been largely ignored by the public. Even fickle customers may have acknowledged the change and moved on. We live in a different world now. Today’s world allows instand feedback, for better and for worse. Somehow, this issue bypassed the CMO, PR department and their social media manager?

The role of the social media manager is crucial and should be elevated in importance to the point where they should have say in the messaging prior to PR department or other executive approval. I truly believe that most of us who now live and breathe social media could have predicted the social fallout and would have advised a different course of action.

Proper social media channels can be transformational marketing tools in the hands of an experienced professional. Of course this can be seen both ways, from being positive or negative. The role of a modern social media marketer is to guide these channels in a manner that turns customers into brand evangelists and naysayers into customers. How one accomplishes these goals will vary from brand to brand and from channel to channel. At the forefront of all strategy should be the utmost respect for the intelligence and opinions of a customer.

All media is social. All public interactions are social.

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