Friday, December 5, 2008

Social Media - Discussing Ideas With People In Communities

Nicholas Kinports (follow him on Twitter @ADMAVEN) has worked in the interactive technology world for over 15 years. He is the Digital Strategy Lead and founder of Chicago-based digital marketing firm lonelybrand, where he directs the creation and execution of digital marketing programs that generate measurable signups, conversions and sales.At the base level, social media is a pretty easy thing to define. A lot of marketers have trouble encapsulating what it means to be in the social media space, and whether a campaign is comprised of "just another website" or a functional 2.0 experience. This post is designed to create a very general framework to assist in understanding and developing true social media campaigns.

Let's have a look at my chart above; its based on a traditional approach but bear in mind that a brand or agency -with the correct core competencies - could perform all of the functions under one roof. The ad agencies who diligently invent creative concepts and the next great campaign are working with ideas. The PR agencies who interact with people on a daily basis and manage the perception of the product/service/brand are facilitating discussion. And the brand ambassadors - the ultimate caretakers of the brand (and our clients) - represent the people who are most influential throughout the advertising process.

When ideas, discussions, and people come together online the result is a community. Consumers spend a lot of time these days discussing what goes on in the world around them, and they are doing it via social media outlets. This isn't news to anyone I know, but it is important to ask yourself this question:

"Is my campaign facilitating discussion about ideas with people in online communities?"

If you are lacking in one or more of the aforementioned areas, you are not truly involved in a social media campaign.

And for those of you in denial about using social media - take a lesson from Motrin Moms... They had ideas and delivered them to people, but failed to facilitate any level of meaningful discussion in online communities about the negative feedback that resulted. As a result the brand suffered and a lot of money was lost.

I'm interested to hear your feedback; let me know what you think by commenting below!
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