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Social media marketing – if you don’t let go, you miss out?

How organisations have to change mindsets to reap the benefits of social media marketing

"If you approach social media with the hope that you can either discipline or control it then you really shouldn"€™t approach social media at all.

It"€™s wildfire. You need enough confidence in your brand and in what you do to be resilient to the slings and arrows of online users "€“ they won"€™t like everything"

This quote from Matt Thompson, the group marketing directer at Trader Media Group really resonated with me since I've listened to so many frustrated marketers who know the potential of social media, but the HiPPOs in the organisation or corporate communications don't have the confidence in their brand and don't seem to realise the potential missed.

Those who seek to minimise the potential reputational damage from social media by excluding other social media activity don't seem to realise:

  • The importance of social channels - these are becoming/have become the main way customers engage with and discuss a brand
  • The opportunities missed to grow a brand if you engage with social media.
  • That if you don't facilitate opportunities to interact through your own social presences the discussions will happen elsewhere where it's more difficult to engage and influence
  • How they're falling behind competitors who do take the risk
  • Discussion can be managed to some degree - for example, I speak to many marketers who haven't been able to launch a blog because of fears of negative comments, but of course these can be managed through a comments policy and moderation!

Do you agree, how can you make the case to engage with social media while managing the downsides? How can senior managers be persuaded to take the "leap of faith".

Source: I got the quote from an interesting interview with Matt Thompson of Autotrader in the Marketer magazine.

How ASDA manage social media for customer service

I also enjoyed reading this article showing how ASDA think organisation's need to adapt to using social media:

  1. It"€™s a brilliant way to be alerted of issues
  2. You must turn listening into action, turn #FAIL"€™s into #DOINGGOOD
  3. Take things to the store level, not just head office
  4. You don"€™t need a digital strategy, you need a strategy that is ready for the digital world.
  5. Go there willingly now, or be dragged there.
  6. Be prepared to be big enough to take on the good and the bad.

This seems to be a customer service view of social media, but it's good to show the change in mindset needed to make the most of social media.

By Dave Chaffey

Dave is CEO and co-founder of Smart Insights. He is editor of the 100 templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ Digital Marketing experts. Our resources used by our Expert members in more than 80 countries to Map, Plan and Manage their digital marketing. For my full profile, or to connect on LinkedIn or other social networks, see the About Dave Chaffey profile page on Smart Insights.

Dave is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Emarketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing.

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