I don’t believe social media will ever replace the need for business development people or traditional marketing but in the new economy it definitely needs to be a part of your marketing arsenal.
Traditional branding is a top down approach with companies, both profit and non-profits defining their own brand. The difference today, brands are being defined by conversations, by what people say both good or bad about your firm. Is this how your firm is engaging clients?
Promise + Experience = Brand
Core values of a firm are created internally, but the branding of the promise happens outside by how clients experience you. In today’s environment where every firm offers “quality services, on time and under budget,” it is difficult to differentiate. Difficult unless you have built trust and relationships in the market place. “Look at it this way: "Traditional marketing was like taking a sledge hammer and hitting your prospects and clients over the head with it. It was almost like, “Believe me, or else.”
Branding today is like a magnet that draws clients to the company a “trust agent." This is the real value and purpose of social media in a business context.
Facebook and LinkedIn are already well established. And your firms’ employees and clients under the age of 40 use Twitter and text messaging as a part of life. So, this is definitely not a fad. Social media is the place where you cultivate your brand in the new economy and where ambient awareness is a way of life. And yes like everything else worth doing it takes thoughtful strategy and a real commitment of time to do it right.
–Ann Byne, Creative Director/Principal of The Byne Group
Parts excerpted from: engineeringdaily.net