Freddy Swan

Guest post from Molly Carter Gaines, SolDesign Company

As marketers, we sometimes find ourselves tempted to focus all of our attention on one single platform or concept. We dive in full force, looking for immediate results. Yet if we overlook the importance of an integrated, in-depth approach to social media, we miss out on opportunities to tap into and repurpose our efforts in PR, offline marketing and traditional advertising.The best results are derived from a balanced, multi-faceted plan to social strategy—which yields much stronger return than a siloed, fragmented approach.

Case in point: recently, I worked on developing a webinar on social media in Healthcare with Frederick Swanston. During the process, Rick Ender, Creative Director of FS, shared a moving commercial spot with me that FS created for Kosair Children’s Hospital. I loved the spot, and Rick and I talked about how Kosair should make it available on all of their social media channels. However, before he could make the suggestion, user requests to see the commercial uploaded began popping up on Kosair’s Facebook page. Kosair’s Facebook community beat us to the punch, demonstrating the value of broadcasting content throughout multiple channels.

It’s common sense, really.  We spend inordinate amounts of time and energy on developing marketing content—whether it be commercials, PowerPoint or slide share presentations, videos, whitepapers, ebooks—you name it. Shouldn’t we publish our work in as many platforms as possible? After all, the lines dividing PR, social media, traditional advertising and even email marketing are not just blurring – they’re merging. Eventually, the term “social media” could very well be obsolete, or at the very least, redundant.

A larger scale example worthy of attention is The Voice, the reality show featuring Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Ceelo and Christina Aguilera. The program brilliantly integrated social media into its strategy, which resulted in unprecedented buzz and engagement via social media. The Voice drew viewers in, turning them into active participants through their use of a “social media room” and “social media correspondent”, and engaged viewers on an entirely new level. The program integrated virtually every form of digital and traditional advertising and social media. The result? The Voice blew away American Idol in terms of social engagement and visibility, with 5 times the response.

A balanced approach helps us to avoid the pitfalls of falling in love with one platform or marketing medium, allowing us to keep an open, creative mind when it comes to other means of social communication. Facebook has its place, of course—however, creative use of SlideShare, blogging, Tumblr, Pinterest, Foursquare and LinkedIn may work magic for your brand as well.

A robust, well-rounded approach to social media also protects you from the fickle nature of new media. Platforms are constantly changing and evolving—sometimes it’s for the better, and sometimes…not. (Consider the once infallible MySpace.)

I’m curious to hear your feedback. What examples of effective multi-channel social integration have you seen?

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