Marketing as a whole requires everyone within the company to communicate and work together. It’s often unclear who is responsible for what in the world of Social Media Coordinators, Public Relations Managers, and Marketing Coordinators. The role each individual plays within an organization varies greatly depending on the size of the company itself. In smaller businesses, people may find themselves having to fulfill the roles of multiple departments, whereas larger organizations may have dedicated team members for specific tasks (such as social media or email marketing). The key to cohesive marketing lies in flexibility, clear brand messaging, and the ability to handle social.
If you have the resources, it is important to have a dedicated social media team within your marketing department. The responsibility of maintaining social media needs to be a main priority for someone within the organization. Social media requires a lot of attention, and is not something that should be ignored by companies. It is also important that the organization have at least a few people dedicated to Public Relations. Having someone that is experienced in “damage control” can mean the difference between success and failure. In the case of a small business, the same people may be responsible for social media and PR; the roles are completely dependent on the size and nature of the business.
The best way to think of the roles everyone should be playing in the marketing mix is to consider your efforts as a party. Your party starts with “advertising,” which comes in the form of the beautiful invitations you send to your guests. The PR would be all the marketing you do for the party; talking it up, telling your friends to tell their friends. Digital advertising is the fun arcade game you have at the entrance to the party. The party itself is social media, the fun atmosphere with live music and people dancing, talking, and forming relationships. As a good host, it is important to be a part of the conversations and experience the party with your “friends.”
Social has different goals than PR and standard marketing. Social’s goal is to socialize and spread awareness for your brand. Social needs to go beyond shoving messages at your followers – it needs to be a conversation. Back-and-forth interaction between you and your followers is key to generating a stimulating and successful social presence. It is paramount that you respond to Twitter and Facebook messages quickly, whether the comments are positive or negative.
Public Relations may need to step in to support Social if any incriminating or harmful content about the company is spreading through social networks. As everyone knows, word spreads faster than wildfire through social platforms. In many cases, this immediate knowledge dispersion is very helpful (like when a meme your company creates goes viral). On the other hand, it can be harmful if your company is on the receiving end of negative attention. It is important that PR take action to remedy serious situations where social opinion could cause significant damage to your brand image.
Integration of your social team with the rest of your marketing team will ensure that you send a clear and consistent message to your audience across all platforms. Think of your brand as the company’s personality – and you do not want to seem scattered and unfocused!like a schizophrenic.
Regardless of the size of your business, you need to integrate Social and PR into your marketing mix. Having a dedicated Social Coordinator that can care for and tend to your social platforms will make a huge difference in expanding your brand image through Social. Your company’s Public Relations, Marketing, and Social teams need to “play nice” with each other to ensure a cohesive image is being presented to your audience. And remember, marketing is fun, so party on!