With YouTube doubling its traffic monthly, and MySpace now more popular than Google and Yahoo, big companies and their agencies are struggling to understand the implications of social media. I’m sure more than one CMO is wondering, “are the inmates really taking over the asylum?”
In a thoughtful article, Robert Young explains why media companies need to ebrace social integration. His advice also is poignant for corporations large and small, from giants like Dell to a small company trying to spread its name with viral marketing:
“… why should media companies even think of embracing social integration? Because they have no choice… social media will continue to take market share away from traditional media, regardless of whether the media companies participate or not.”
Social integration is indeed the key to the new media revolution. When companies accept the fact that customers have to tools to make their voices heard, they can begin to look at the opportunities that including customers’ voices in the marketing mix present.
How can companies participate in social media without giving up total control?
Here are just a few baby step ways to begin:
– When customers complain, it’s usually because something needs to be changed. Make the changes, over-deliver on improvements. Thank your customers for caring.
– When customers like a product enough to make their own commercials about it, a smart company will link to those commercials.
– Don’t fight em, join em, partner with a social media outlet.
Integrating marketing with social media is smart, effective, and, when you come right down to it, necessary.