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Eight Things You Need to Manage Social Media

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Who Owns Social Media Campaigns? written last week by ClickZ columnist Rebecca Lieb, explores who should manage social media for companies – public relations firms, search firms, or agencies.

I’m grateful to Rebecca for getting me a gig at ClickZ as a columnist more than two years ago. This week, I’m appreciative because she gave me fodder for my column here.

Below is a comment I posted last week in response to her column; I’d like to elaborate.

Online Marketing firms who have search, online media, creative, development and tracking technology under one roof are the only entities really qualified to deploy and manage a robust social media channel alive with good content, creative and interactive applications. Agencies might be close but most PR firms are just not equipped to deploy creative and technology-infused online assets and blend them with high-octane online media programs. Certainly “search only” firms are not the right folks for this either – they don’t have great creative or online media buyers. The one thing PR firms may have a leg up on is good blog-relations programs.

Let me list skills and components that a company needs to manage a social media campaign in a comprehensive way and explain why online marketing firms are the right ones to make it happen.

First, the lines between search, online media, online creative, and online technology are blurring and nowhere is that more true than with social media marketing. A social platform is a channel that will forever build your brand, encourage engagement, and drive site traffic, leads, and commerce. Only online marketing firms adept at maintaining, managing, tracking, and optimizing “always on” online channels and technologies should be in charge of managing these platforms.

A robust social platform has tons of moving parts and technologies behind it. So in exploring what type of firm is best at managing a social platform consider the following.

You wouldn’t have your PR firm build and manage your Web site, right? You may have your branding agency do it but probably not. However, you would retain your pure-play online marketing firm that has all the creative, search engine optimization (SEO), and technical/Web development skills under one roof to build and manage your Web site right? Well a social media platform is like a huge Web site that not only integrates with your site but lives all over the Web. That’s why a full-service online firm is they way to go.

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