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(Read time = 2 minutes)  For me – getting a handle on the “social media” marketing landscape is easier if I simply connect the new stuff to my trusted, old and faithful outbound and marketing roots.   This will be way to simplistic for some, but hopefully a way to lessen the confusion, for others.

Rather than letting the technology and jargon become a distraction, and worse, a barrier to entry, – I associate the new tools to old favorites as a way for straight-forward engagement.  Then, once I actually go hands-on, it’s easier to bridge into discovery mode and begin to uncover the truly unique attributes for each communications channel… each new tool.  The approach is also useful when asked to explain how the tools work, or what applications might be worth considering for B2B communications.

bridgesMy Analog B2B Roadmap for Framing the Social Media Conversation

(Future blog posts will dive deeper into all these.  Looking for feedback on other instances, if you’d like to share)

LinkedIn = Daytimer/Address Book (a business card filing system at the most basic level)

Twitter Feed = Police Scanner (ie, unfiltered chatter from across many bands)

Twitter Post = Graffiti (splashes/bursts of unfiltered signals and noise)

Twitter Trends and Search = Watercooler Gossip (the most talked about topics rise to the top)

Google Alerts = A PR Clipping Service (set up keyword parameters and Google will ping you with once a day summaries)

MySpace = Slumber Party for Consumer Brands (Teens, young adults discussing preferences, trends)

Facebook Profile = Social Reunion (the personal side of Facebook and the traditional audience of users

Facebook Fan Page =  Biz Conference (the new “business” side that Facebook is courting)

Delicious = Filing Cabinet  (A place to easily file/retried bookmarked URLs, PDFs)

Digg = Cocktail Party (What’s the latest topic, hottest new trends)

In client presentations, the analogies can be a very effective way to align discussions, and serve as a starting point for new media policy and strategy conversations. 

To be sure, each of these has so much more to offer B2B marketing professionals.  Eg., LinkedIn isn’t just a card file, it’s also a powerful relationship-building environment with significant potential for message promotion and community dialogue;  Google Alerts, used with the proper filters, can become a powerful first-line brand management alert tool; a Facebook Fan Page holds the promise for centralization of your entire outbound content generation.

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