So the Social Media is real buzzword at the moment. Many people are advocating its use as the future of marketing (myself included), but are the people that really push the benefits of social media truly aware of what it is that they are selling? I myself have been plugging the benefits of blogging for almost a year now, but it was not until two weeks ago that I actually sat down and thought it appropriate to practice what I preach. According to the attached article, i'm not alone.
Numerous PR firms are raving of the possibilities afforded by blogging, Search Engine Optimisation and social networking, yet according to Andrew Smith, the author of the attached blog, many firms fail to recognise these principles within their own organisations. Unless PR firms can be specifically identified as professional social media purveyors, it is unlikely that potential clients will approach them; or as the article suggests, even be aware of their existence. It would appear to me that the best way to demonstrate one's marketing abilities would be to incorporate every relevant lessons into my business practices. In doing so, the client has tangible evidence of the organisation's expertise; a particular asset given the current economic climate and the resultant reluctance to outsource.
As has been discussed in recent posts, the importance of influence online has become instrumental for success in the current economic climate. Influence is only possible through visibility. Although said visibility need not necessarily be achieved digitally, the reach of electronic word of mouth easily exceeds the abilities of individuals to convey their thoughts in the physical words. The level of visibility achievable through the social media is one of the core benefits thereof. Clearly, by acknowledging the social media as a means of increasing visibility, PR firms are not only influencing potential client decisions, but simultaneously demonstrating an ability to implement the new media to the organisation's advantage. This is an advantage which clients will want to replicate.
As talks of influence tracking software becomes more common place, PR firms must realise that unless they too employ the social media into their businesses, their visibility and hence their influence will decrease. They will lose ground to those who they advise, particularly as their clients create their own networks and become experts in their own rights. Although PR firms clearly have a lot of insight to offer, standing apart from the social media will cause them to be left behind.
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