The many disciplines of social media marketing

Part of the fun of social media is the way it touches so many disciplines—or, for you corporate types, so many functional silos. Word-of-mouth and all the forms of online media challenge the traditional divisions, so we get to see how different specialties approach them. An article in PRWeek discusses the view from public relations (via Sally Falkow):

While appraising and evaluating social media is often complex, it has impacted the profession in three specific ways (in order of increasing importance): it has added a new medium and hundreds of thousands of new outlets PR pros must ponder when pitching; it has provided companies and their agencies an inexpensive way to push their unfiltered message out into the increasingly cluttered media space online; and it has opened up a heretofore unimagined conduit of conversation between corporation and customer.
The article is full of good quotes and observations, which I won't try to summarize. Most interesting, though, is the observation that clients haven't settled on who they will go to for social media programs:
Given the likelihood that clients are becoming increasingly interested in the space, agencies from multiple disciplines are competing for digital and social media accounts. PR agency executives say that since they are increasingly included in pitches that also feature pure interactive and advertising shops, the industry, as a whole, needs to evangelize about why PR is the best discipline to handle the social media space.
The analysis side of social media is similarly open to companies from different backgrounds. In the last three days, I've talked with a clipping service, an interactive agency and a social media analysis specialist firm, all of which would be happy to monitor and analyze social media for you. How the analysis fits with their other services is one of the more interesting questions, and it's leading to a series of questions every company should be able to answer before picking a vendor.

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About Nathan Gilliatt

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  • Voracious learner and explorer. Analyst tracking technologies and markets in intelligence, analytics and social media. Advisor to buyers, sellers and investors. Writing my next book.
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