How do social media tools work within your marketing plan?  Have you thought of how to integrate Twitter into your public relations strategy?  Is your employer brand reflected properly on LinkedIn?  Can social media augment all of these practices?

All very valid questions…

At this week’s Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau Social Media Marketing Workshop hosted by Love Scott and Associates, I led off the discussion with an overview of social media tools and how they integrate into a well planned marketing strategy.  Two other speakers, Claire Celsi ( @ClaireCelsi ), from The Public Relations Project and Ben Stone ( @BenStone ) from RPO Consulting took the helm after me to discuss social media as it integrates with Public Relations and Human Resources, respectively.

For over four hours we took turns stating our case for (and against) social media in traditional corporate marketing, PR, and HR environments.  There was tremendous engagement from a very curious audience and the conversations lasted long past the scheduled 12:pm adjournment.

But when it was time to come back to my office and decompress from the presentations, I thought to myself, “What would ‘C’ level decision-makers need to understand about social media as it applies to their brand?”

And then I thought of this:

“There’s a conversation going on about your brand.  Are you listening?”

(feed readers and Facebookers, click here to watch the video)

…and that was just about 30% of what I found through my Twitter feed, 12 hours before to immediately after the workshop.

It’s time to sit up and start paying attention.  If you’re not using social media to AT LEAST monitor the conversations going on about your brand, then you’re already out of the game.

Here are five simple takeaways from the marketing segment of the workshop:

  1. Traditional broadcast marketing has been augmented with social media marketing, creating an online conversation about your brand.  You must be there to take part in the conversation.
  2. Social Media Marketing is about building community AROUND your brand.
  3. Strategic planning is needed to integrate social media tools with a company’s comprehensive marketing plan.
  4. Social media marketing is measurable, but you need to have goals to measure against.
  5. Social media marketing should not be taken lightly. Finding a marketing partner that understands how the social media tools can integrate your marketing is imperative.

Has your company started integrating social media into its every day marketing, PR or HR strategies?  How well are you listening?

Food for thought.

Keep Cooking (community-driven conversations)
Andrew B. Clark
The Brand Chef

  1. Andy, fantastic information. It is amazing how much is going on in Social Media and how many companies have failed to grasp the concept. Thanks for helping to bridge the gap.

    • Thanks, Pete!

      That’s my goal. Educate and inspire the corner office to integrate social media into their daily strategies. It’s coming whether they want it to or now.

      It’s just a matter of embracing it now, or struggling to catch up later.

      Hope we can connect again soon!
      Keep Cooking!
      Andrew B. Clark
      The Brand Chef

  2. Great points Andrew, as always. But let’s not forget that SM isn’t just for external customers. It’s for internal ones too. Which is why it’s more than marketing’s domain.

    • Exactly, Jeffrey! The workshop we hosted had perspectives from Marketing (me), Public Relations (Claire Celsi) and Human Resources (Ben Stone). Claire and Ben really hit the points that social media tools are imperative for connecting your commercial and employee brands.

      A great trio to cover internal and external aspects of brand and communication!

      Thanks for stopping by the blog! I really appreciate your input.

      Keep Cooking!
      Andrew B. Clark
      The Brand Chef

  3. I came to the conference from a different POV. I work with companies to help expand their WOM through social media. It was a great conference and one many central Iowa businesses need.

    • Thank you, Jodi.

      It was great to have so may people there looking at social media marketing from so may different angles. I think the three perspectives (Marketing, PR, and HR) helped facilitate the discussions.

      It was so nice to finally meet you in real life as well… I hope this helps you with your I Blog Conference!

      Keep Cooking!
      Andrew B. Clark
      The Brand Chef

  4. Andrew, I’ve started my new company with an almost exclusively social media / inbound marketing strategy. I’ll let you know in a year how successful it has been, but right now the satisfaction of direct communication with a growing customer base and all the real time metrics has vast appeal. And great satisfaction too.
    — Axle Davids

    • @Axle –

      Wow, good luck with the new venture. You have pioneered and unique course and I wish you the best of luck. Please keep me apprised of your success.

      Keep Cooking!
      Andrew B. Clark
      The Brand Chef

  5. Sounds like it was a great workshop! I really wish I could have gone. Thanks for the brief summary. Did they video? I will definately look for the next one. Sounds like you are really ahead of the curve on social media. Amazing how quickly its developing…

    • @Laura –

      Sorry you weren’t able to make the workshop. As soon as I have the session videos edited down to manageable streams, I will make sure you get a direct message to find them.

      Thanks for your encouragement and support. It really means a lot to me.
      Andrew B. Clark
      The Brand Chef

  6. Andrew, I fear that brands never cultivated the listening habit and hence they still miss the most obvious benefit of social media. It seems to me that they are using social media as another platform to talk and be heard.

    It is difficult for brands those have been so far wary of direct contact with consumers, to suddenly want to join the conversations if they still have reasons to avoid customers for fear of being confronted.

    • @Pratap –

      Precisely. The idea of broadcasting your message and waiting for return has been smashed by the simplicity of social media monitoring. With the right strategy, you van first, FIND where the conversations need to be and second, be there to monitor, engage, defend and promote your brand.

      Thanks for stopping by The Brand Chef blog!

      Keep Cooking (TRUE engagement)
      Andrew B. Clark
      The Brand Chef