Realizing that Social Media is an Infrastructure

In a client marketing planning meeting at corporate HQ, we discussed Facebook strategy. The question came up on whether it was better to pursue a top-down content strategy when the client said:

About 50 percent of our local franchisees have already set up their own Facebook pages.

Be Seen on Social MediaFor better or worse, digital marketers need to stop looking at social media as simply a new marketing channel. It’s a communications infrastructure that marketers are in charge of R&D for. Corporate presences on Facebook fall flat most of all because they’re not offering the equivalent of your local branch. Corporate occurrences are too broad and provide no way for people at the company and people in the local community to connect; though they can offer a hub-like approach to the local presences.

It’s time to look at social media for what it is: the new phone system, but better.

Social media allows marketers to make campaigns personal. Using writing, design, and programming, marketers are able to affect a local one-to-one discourse introducing consumers to the people at your brand that can help them in that context most.

To many, that sounds like a sales channel, which it is. But it’s also eminently savable, trackable, and providing marketers with the rough brush strokes of the perceptions, realities, and time parameters held by your audience. Social media is already informing all your content for display, SEO, SEM, creative, and sales efforts. The question is: are you listening?