Different marketers will give you different advice as to whether or not the head of a company should be the voice of the company on a blog, twitter, or other social media. One school of thought states that if the owner/CEO has the time to tweet, s/he isn’t working hard enough at the helm. Others say that if you’re truly a thought leader, you should be the voice of the company.

I personally believe there is no “one size fits all” approach to social media. Integrated marketing communication strategies advocates a total approach to marketing – first decide what your company culture will be, then develop your marketing (including social media) strategies around that idea. If your company’s culture advocates transparency, someone else writing your company blog (even as a ghost writer) is a betrayal of that transparency.

Social Media Today recently ran an article discussing a gentleman who hired an outside company to “ghost tweet” for him while he was away at a conference (http://bit.ly/cMfHlI). A central question of the article, besides the ethics of the idea, was whether or not you need to tweet at all at times?

I again think the answer lies in your overall company strategy. Sometimes the CEO should blog. Sometimes the strategy is one of listening. Sometimes (especially in a creatively focused company) there should be many voices.

I believe in authenticity. Integrated marketing communication strategies are about developing a central message around your product or service, and using business and marketing strategies to reinforce that message.

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ElektrikInk Blog imageIntegrated marketing strategies include multiple platforms with a coordinated message. There’s a lot of discussion about social media with respect to marketing – how much time to spend, what social media platforms, and whether social media should replace traditional media.

I share the opinion that social media should integrate into your overall marketing strategy and business plan, and should not stand apart from or replace traditional marketing tactics. Rena Bernstein of ElektrikInk wrote a blog post recently about integrating your social media tactics with more traditional marketing methods. Her four points are:

  • You can’t control social media
  • Traditional marketing clarifies Social Media
  • Social media amplifies traditional marketing
  • Testimonials: the mother load of social media

In particular, in the “social media amplifies traditional marketing” section, I liked the example Rena shares about Estée Lauder cosmetics:

Estée used social media and online PR to offer free makeovers and free professional headshots. After each makeover, women would have a glamour photo taken of them (including of course an Estée Lauder logo in the background) and upload the image as their social profile photo before ever leaving the counter.

Have you heard of similar creative cross-media techniques? I’d love to hear ones that moved you…

I recently came across, through a LinkedIn discussion, a marketing blog for John Fatteross Communications, LLC called FattLipp. A December blog post discussed the company’s holiday card campaign.

Watching the three Flash animation cards, I immediately engaged with the campaign. Watching the videos back to back, I immediately recognized common elements, and in the 2009 card was even looking for the snowman (it appears in the reflection of the ornament after the ornament rolls toward camera).  The blog post goes into detail regarding the strategy behind the card:

“Within each execution, a winter-related icon with a round shape — e.g. ornament, wreath, skating pond — would morph into the client’s logo (also round). To further a campaign feel, Fatt Lipp proposed to use the same placid music bed in each execution.”

Considering all of the thought that was put into the overall theme of the cards, and how excited I was about finding some of the common elements across years, my only critique was that the e-cards didn’t appear to link back to the company’s website (although they may have linked to the site during the campaign) and it didn’t appear that there was the ability to watch the previous years’ cards.

Integrated marketing communication strategies encompass all marketing opportunities, including holiday cards. I know that, in January, it’s too late to think about last year’s holiday card. But now is an excellent time to think about this year, and begin strategizing on how you can integrate a bit of your company into your holiday card.

I’m usually not a fan of e-cards as opposed to print cards, but if the e-card is engaging, people will read it. Even better – if you use flash animation and provide a little movie, people will watch it. Even better is taking the holiday card to the next level, and providing a multi-level campaign across time to actively engage your audience.