Broadcast media has co-habited with print media for decades with each reviewing the others’ output in programmes like ‘What the Papers Say’ and the daily TV/radio listings inside the national daily papers – you could say it was the earliest form of media convergence.
Now we’re seeing a new dimension as broadcast media gets cosy with social media and in the BBC’s Food Programme today on Radio 4 (29 March 2010) the full half-hour is devoted to how social media is enabling food companies to engage with their customers in a new and personal way with a report from the Food Show at the NEC in Birmingham.
If you have 30 mins it’s worth the time to listen http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/b00rl4kg as it is a great example of small businesses getting direct return for their investment in social media and making use of the widely available and easy-to-use tools that are on the web today.
The question I hear most about social media is ‘How can I make it work for me, I don’t have a twitter account or even a decent website?’ The answer to this, like most questions involving a change of thinking about a fundamental aspect of your business is that if you have a ‘can-do’ approach and are open to make it happen, you will find the way.
If the statistics are correct, just 15% of businesses are using social media in a structured way to engage with their clients. My bet is that it will never get above 60% of people using it in a structured way – just think how few businesses have a structured ‘traditional’ marketing plan today!
So, the opportunity is there for the businesses who are able to recognise the opportunity presented by social media, establish a realistic plan based on factual information about their brand (gathered in an audit) and then apply sufficient resource to make it work.
In the meantime as media channels converge, cross-promote and blog about themselves the word will continue to spread.
Since I started this blog ‘Alclarkeltd’ on Saturday here in chilly England I’ve been amazed to see the hits that have bounced back via my Twitter account (USA) and from 15 readers in the UK. This is my ‘live’ experiment in social media and it is clear that once you’re out there the drums start beating. The issue is, will you choose the rhythm or end up dancing to someone else’s beat?
About Al Clarke..
Al is the former Commercial & Brand Director of Ferrari GB, now a marketing and communications consultant and a director of the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA). He is working in this field with partners to bring together the experience of communications management and the latest software tools to enable his clients to make informed decisions about their brands. Interested to learn more about social media…if you’re in the motor industry join MIPAA www.mipaa.com