Social Media as a Team Player & Its Future

Future of Social MediaTo get a glimpse of the future, let’s take a look back in time…

First there was the website. Businesses didn’t know how to treat it, so it became the ugly stepchild in found in IT departments, Marketing departments or off on its own planet. Then companies finally came around and saw the light. The website was part of them! Just another side to the company itself. Email went through a similar transformation. Today, social media is going through its own growing pains of acceptance as it works to get a legitimate presence within the company.

In the last blog post, The ROI of Social Media, I mentioned Social Media was part PR, part business communication and part business networking. However, at the end of the day, I believe it is a hybrid. It’s a new method for marketers, customer service, sales professionals, CEOs, employees, customers and others, to communicate, share and explore. Believe it or not, social media is a team player and works best when joined with strong marketing, PR, sales, customer service and other teams. You may not have guessed this from talking to some “social media experts.” There are some you would lead you to believe that social media works alone. I would disagree.

Social media is not a standalone. Social media should be integrated into your existing plans, this includes your existing Marketing plan and your Sales plan. No separate social media plan needed. A separate social media section, maybe; completely separate plan, not a good idea. Everyone, and I mean everyone, should be communicating and on the same page – Sales, Marketing, Social Media Specialists (Community Managers), contractors or agencies, anyone who has information or can contribute to improving the master plan. Although in my previous post I said, “Social media isn’t really Marketing” and I said “Social media isn’t Sales.” Please note, I did not say social media should be cut off from marketing or sales. One more important item to note, be sure you do not confuse a social media plan with a social media policy. All companies need a social media policy.

Now let’s look out into the future…

There will come a day when there is no separate social media team. There just will be no need. Social media will be part of the very fabric of the role in which you work. If you’re a marketer, and your role includes communicating online, you will be well versed in the ins and outs of social media. We may still have specialists in certain area, such as someone to run the [Facebook] page, the blog or a community, but this will be similar to what we have today with email campaigns. I don’t know how long (or short) it will be before this future materializes, but I feel it’s coming. It’s just part of the ongoing, online evolution. What are your thoughts on the future of social media?

 

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About Karin Khuhro

Karin Khuhro is a Digital Marketing Strategist, Speaker and Copywriter. As the owner of Strategy E-ssentials she works with other savvy marketers, digital specialists and business leaders to bring knowledge, know-how and solutions to small and medium sized businesses. Connect with Karin on Google+ or Linkedin.