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Are You Marketing or Communicating?

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Congratulations! You’ve taken that first step toward taking your brand into the digital space by bringing a social media team on board.

Now, who are the first people these folks should meet with? The IT department? Marketing? Communications?

Yes.

Maybe this wasn’t the answer you were hoping for, but it’s the right one.

A truly effective media strategy bridges all of these verticals to create not only a clear, consistent online presence for your brand but also a carefully executed communications plan.

Let’s break it down:

IT

Your IT department is not only in charge of making sure your computers and networking function, but also establishing proper usage policies and network safety and integrity. The very nature of social media with its sharing of links, videos and other content on password-protected sites creates a security issue.

IT needs to be involved from the outset to ensure that digital marketing practices adhere to network standards and policies. If your company is blocking sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, your social media plan is already hamstrung.

Marketing

Your marketing team, whether they are internal or external through a PR firm or ad agency, has set branding standards for your company. Social media activities should adhere to these standards, and all planning for digital should involve these parties.

A major goal of marketing campaigns is establishing a clear and consistent brand identity. This identity must be maintained across all verticals in order to maintain its integrity and effectiveness. Getting buy-in from the marketing team from the beginning mitigates surprises down the road.

Communications

Your company communicates information not just via marketing but also via media outlets and, depending on the industry, via public safety and/or crisis communications channels. Like it or not, people expect all official means of communication (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) to be reflective of and responsive to these types of information dissemination.

If you’re only looking at social media as a marketing tool and ignoring the potential utility for crisis communications and customer service, you will probably end up getting burned. Building in these variables into your digital marketing content plan ensures that the public has the opportunity to get critical information in a timely fashion and in via the tools with which they already connect with you.

In the event of a major crisis, your company also has an opportunity to shine by shifting gears and utilizing those channels to assist with public safety and awareness. The recent earthquake in Haiti gave us a good example of the Red Cross and others utilizing Twitter to get out crucial updates in real-time.

So yes, digital marketing is all of these things and more. Fortunately we at Raidious can help.

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