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Social media is cool, but who pays for it? Brand? PR? Digital?

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2 September 2010
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…and what about Direct Response?

The impact of Social Media is so wide ranging that it encompasses elements of all of these erstwhile marketing silos and even some outside of marketing.

Most marketeers quickly grasp that social media is a tool to create positive brand awareness, even on a massive scale (see the Old Spice campaign).

Social Media - hard to pin down?

And PR? Puuuleaze!!! Social Media is about relationships – tick. Crisis management – tick. You can’t do crisis management properly today without doing it through social tools. And Social Media – possibly even more than PR – is very much earned media. People don’t share sub-par stuff with their friends.

Direct response? Dominos have announced a 29% rise in profit partly ascribed to FourSquare. Social coupons through services like Groupon are driving sales in unprecedented levels. Facebook has social ads that drive traffic to F-commerce websites.

Digital? Social tends to be digital by its very nature. In fact, most good and successful uses of digital tendto be social. (You can probably tell we’re not big fan of typical banners, skyscrapers or brochure type micro-sites.)

SEO these days often only means one thing, so-called Linkbait. Linkbait is just a technical word for remarkable (but not necessary on-brand) content that attracts in-bound links and builds PageRank. Good social media – like an informative or entertaining blog post/ video – can drive links too.

And then there’s the not so small matter of customer care. That could be social too.

In some companies, proper application of social could even impact product development in a massive way. You might recall that the best way to get people to talk about your business is to ensure you have a remarkable product.

So business is waking up to the need to take Social Media seriously. Yet while this hurdle has been passed there is a new hitch, precisely because social pervades almost all aspects of business.

Most brands have budget lines for brand advertising, PR, direct response and digital/ SEO, but not for Social.

The simple answer is that brands need to get with the program and add a Social budget line, a catch all for all of the above. Or is it?

Some companies will create new Social Media budgets that will cater for these things. In others Social Media will become part of the way existing departments do things.

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