With Social Media Everyone IS in Marketing
I think one of the reasons why everyone has an opinion on marketing is because intuitively they know that marketing is fun and they want to be part of it. Yes, it’s not always as glamorous as it looks from the outside. As those of us who are professional marketers know, it’s a lot of hard work. However, you have to admit it can be one of the coolest jobs there is.
A recent post on the Left The Box marketing blog called 8 Ways Social Media Should Change Your Marketing got me thinking. One of the points made was that you should involve everyone – customer service, product development, and even public relations.
These days, everyone from the Director of First Impressions (formerly receptionist) to that slightly strange developer (the one that only works nights and seems to live off of pizza and M&Ms) can set up a Twitter account, a facebook page, their own blog, as well as comment on other blogs. And, if you are in the technology industry as I am, chances are they will.
Each of these online impressions, especially those that are clearly tied to your company, can have an impact on your online brand perception. You no longer have the choice but to involve everyone in marketing because you can no longer control it.
Since the choice is taken out of your hands, why not look on this as an opportunity to leverage these creative juices? Here are some ideas to get started:
Set clear social media guidelines. For example, everyone should understand what types of information is confidential. And, black and white rules such as “never disparage a customer or business partner” can really help keep everyone inbounds.
Provide training to those who are interested. Provide training sessions for those who are new to social media to show them how to use it. If you have some great enthusiasts from outside marketing, leverage their expertise by having them do the training. You'll increase your buy-in if marketing isn't always in charge. “Lunch n’ learns” are a great format for this.
Create an idea board. Pull together your best social media enthusiasts to form a group that meets to discuss ideas for leveraging social media. It doesn’t matter what department these team members come from, but don’t call this an “advisory board.” This implies that they are advising you on what to do. The ideas generated from this group may very well not be marketing’s responsibility to execute.
Monitor. You don’t want to turn your back on what is happening. Your role isn’t to be the social media police, but you do want to be sure that you spot practices that could cause a problem for your organization. You can incorporate the course corrections into your company guidelines, training sessions, and idea boards as a way to subtly set things on the right path.
All the best! (and have fun!)