The Death of Sexy – Social Media, Integration and Real Business

Maybe we’ve gotten a little ahead of ourselves?

In our zeal for YouTube videos, and Facebook apps, and iphone wizardry, and augmented reality we’ve in many cases neglected the many ways we can socially enable the marketing we’ve been doing all along.

social media integrationSure it’s exciting to play with all the shiny new social media toys under the tree, but before we start creating siloed social media departments and work ourselves into a lather about ROI, shouldn’t we take a minute to figure out how to integrate social media?

Social Media as an Ingredient

‘Tis the season for people to make predictions and promises for next year. For me, I want to focus this blog in 2010 on social media convergence, and how social impacts other marketing and operational disciplines.

Sure, I could write about the new Twitter this or the new Facebook that, and I’m sure I’ll continue to cover that world at times.

But since I was a public relations professional first, a client-side marketer second, a digital marketing agency owner third, and a social media consultant fourth, what really interests me (and I hope you) is how social media is the new ligament of marketing – tying together disparate tactics with unified messaging and platforms.

In 2010, I want to focus on how we retrofit our email marketing, search marketing, banner advertising, even print and TV, to include social components universally.

How can your blog drive your search marketing? How can you test email newsletter content on Facebook? How can your mobile apps drive database marketing? How does social CRM impact downstream conversion rates?

Sure, social media has made incredible progress in a short period of time. But to reach its full potential – especially from an ROI perspective – social media needs to be a component in a larger marketing program. Yes, I believe all companies will “be” social eventually. But that’s not a marketing strategy, that’s a cultural initiative. We need to treat social media as a marketing ingredient, not a marketing cure-all.

The Next Big Thing is the Little Things

The social media baby has been birthed. The stories have been written about the “first to do this” and the “first to do that.” With your help and permission, I want to get beyond the excitement and focus on the business of social media.

At almost every social media speaking engagement, I’m asked what I think the next big thing will be. “What’s the next Twitter?” people want to know. This will be the year (I hope) when we stop asking that question. Instead of “what’s next?” we should be asking “what’s the best way to use what’s out there?”

Are you okay with this direction? Can we focus on social media integration and convergence together next year?

(photo by harikumarm)

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