Social Marketing – the latest buzz word

I’ve recently been noticing more and more of a push for Social Marketing Managers or Co-ordinators or Experts. It’s an interesting, hot new area that promises a lot and has caught the buzz.

However, I wonder how many of the companies looking to hire in those areas have actually considered the implications of Social Marketing. Both for their marketing plan and their organisation.

Not all companies would benefit to the same extent through social marketing. It’s a difficult area of marketing to get right, and it requires a large amount of time and resources dedicated to it. More importantly, it might be easier and better to use more traditional marketing tactics – especially if the company currently isn’t using any.

In addition, social marketing requires the company to interact with the audience. this requires giving up a lot of control of their marketing message – and understanding that it’s no longer ‘their’ brand, but the market’s. This can mean a lot of bad publicity as well as good – so it’s not always to the companies best interest to engage in the conversation.

It’s true that consumers are changing, and becoming more proactive, discussing brands and actively influencing one another. However,taking part / actively doing social marketing is the difference between being the parent who gives the children a house to hold the party but stays in the study while the party goes on and one who joins the party. If you’re out there, you better be ready to party.

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