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The digital media value proposition: three insights on social media for business

By Guest Blogger: Janice Rudkowski, Director, Marketing & Communications, Career Edge Organization

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I was fortunate enough to attend the Getting Down to Business with Social Media session yesterday, held by Queen’s Executive Development Centre. There are lots of Social Media themed sessions, conferences and crash courses out there for business professionals to partake in. Some try to convert, others try to simply inform or educate and then others try to take Social Media Strategy to the next level.

This one was of the later – it definitely took social and digital media strategy to the next level. Neil Bearse, Manager of Web-Based Marketing at Queen’s University, presented the second hour of the session. He really hit the mark in terms of how organizations should be thinking about digital media. I took away three really important insights from his engaging, entertaining and thoughtful presentation.

1. It’s time to stop questioning why and start looking at the facts.

Millions and millions of people are already actively engaged online whether it’s for social or professional purposes. So, why are organizations still wondering if they should develop a digital media strategy? Social and digital media has already demonstrated itself as an integral part of our society. From preschoolers to grandmothers – everyone is engaging online in one way or another. So too should all organizations.

2. In essence, we’re all marketers within our organizations.

Digital media strategies don’t simply belong just in the Marketing Department. Since social media is an integral part of our everyday lives, it also has to be woven through every part of our businesses. It’s true that Marketing has traditionally been the brand keepers, but today everyone in the organization contributes to keeping the brand healthy and well. It’s not just what’s written on the company website or company brochure that dictates brand health, it’s how we talk to a customer or even how we talk to our friends and family about our jobs. Virtually every online and offline interaction feeds into the health of a brand. So, it’s crucial that everyone within an organization recognize their role, importance and contribution to the organization’s overall strategy in order for its digital media strategy to achieve success.

3. Digital media is exactly what email was 15 years ago and what the fax machine was 30 years ago to businesses.

These techno inventions changed the way people communicated. So, now we have another technological revolution which once again changes the way that we do business. The difference is, now businesses have the opportunity to reach out and engage in direct dialogue with their customers and consumers in an instant. We’re entering into a new era where a customer/consumer relationship is not just defined by face time or simply the quality of a product or service, but it’s defined by every single online and offline interaction. And now more than ever, it’s the online interaction that contributes so much value to the equation.

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