The 3 Pillars of Social Media Marketing

originally posted on Concept Hub

This past week I faced an interesting challenge that has helped me to confirm my belief that social media will impact every industry and every department within every industry.

Social Media has changed the face of marketing, not by introducing new channels for messaging but by introducing new technical capabilities that have enabled the fusion of  multiple customer-facing disciplines, including;

Marketing+Sales = Relationship Marketing

Marketing+Customer Services = Customer Relationship Marketing

Marketing+Training = Educational Marketing

I consider these to be the 3 pillars of social media marketing because no matter your industry, these are the 3 disciplines that will impact your bottom line.

Last week I was contacted by the Reusable Industrial Packaging Association. They are hosting their annual conference in New Orleans and considering having a speaker to present how social media can help their business. Tools such as Twitter, Facebook, Blogs and such are now becoming mainstream words, but the exact “hows and whys” of these tools still tends to be a mystery to many people.

The people who will be attending this conference are executives of $5 – 40 million companies that are responsible for industrial reusable packaging such as oil drums. Now for several years, I have been saying social media impacts EVERY industry and EVERY department within every industry. But I have to admit, this one stumped me for a moment.

The companies represented at the conference will be:

  • B2B
  • Have no or very little PR needs.
  • Have no or very little reputation management concerns.
  • Have no or very little concern about protecting their intellectual property.
  • Are not necessarily trying to grow their client base.

So why would they need to consider looking at social media for their business?

The more questions I asked the more I learned about how their businesses are family owned and rely on their strong relationships with their clients.

Relationship Marketing

I also learned the importance of efficiency and how it is tied to customer service.

Customer Service Marketing

Beyond that I learned that to have a container, not in use is kind of like having a hotel room or plane seat not in use; it is not generating money and potentially even cost money. To put these containers in use it is important to keep “just in time” information published about what is available and the costs and benefits of the containers that are available as well as be ready to respond to changing needs.

Educational Marketing

I explained that tools such as Twitter and Facebook may or may not be what these companies are looking for, but the capabilities of these tools definitely need to be taken into consideration. I explained that social software has the potential of revolutionizing industries such as theirs in much the same way the Just In Time technologies revolutionized similar industries over a decade ago. Together we began to explore the possibilities of illustrating how these companies can become more profitable by becoming more efficient and by communicating information in ways that help their clients become more profitable.

Once again I confirmed, at least to myself, that social media will impact every industry and every department within every industry. I will be delving in to understand the impacts more as I put my presentation together that I will be delivering to the Reusable Industrial Packaging Association annual conference in New Orleans.