Are Brands Still Anti-Social With Social Media?

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Social media is quickly becoming just as relevant, if not more so, than traditional media, but are brands – and their advertising campaigns – keeping up?

Savvy marketers know how to balance defined, actionable goals with the inherent flexibility needed to achieve them. But in the brave new world of social media where the possibilities for both success and failure are overwhelming, competing brands are quick to recognize the success of others, and implement similar objectives. When this happens, however, brands begin to lose their edge, uniqueness, and focus.

Establishing a presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Delicious, FourSquare or blog posts isn’t enough. Brands must back up their social tools with timely, influential content that consumers will respond to – content specific to particular brands distributed via various forms of online platforms from videos and interactive images to networking groups and empowered brand advocates. Does this sound familiar?

It should. Here comes that word we all hate to love: synergy.[more]

Sean Corcoran, an analyst at Forrester Research, investigated the three types of media that organizations have to work on synergizing today: owned, paid, and earned.

Owned media is that which companies control. Websites, blogs, and twitter accounts help to build long-term relationships with customers and niche markets through an efficient, yet somewhat unpredictable model.

Paid media combines the more traditional advertising methods with the Internet through display ads, sponsorships, and key word searches. While this type of promotion is in demand by advertisers and host sites, the payoff is still fuzzy due to consumer’s resistance to clutter.

Earned media is the latest viral marketing where brands have very little control over the impact, but when done correctly, it can take off. Burger King knows this all too well.

In the end, the smartest companies are going to be the ones that fine-tune their new media goals and integrate all of the appropriate tools together for one cohesive strategy.

“Increasingly, interactive marketers are being asked to manage a wide range of paid and unpaid marketing communication – despite the fact that many marketing departments are still organized around traditional paid marketing channels,” Corcoran noted in his report. “All types of online media (whether ‘earned,’ ‘owned,’ or ‘paid’) can play specific roles in meeting marketers’ objectives – especially when seamlessly working together.”

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