A shift in the way that marketers, public relations companies and advertising companies operate is essential if they are to successfully latch on to the new wave of social media realms.
With many businesses slashing bottom line marketing budgets, social networking platforms such as Twitter, MySpace and Facebook are emerging as cost-effective branding solutions when budgets are squeezed.
According to social media strategist Des Walsh, businesses and entrepreneurs should learn how to navigate the social media maze and become savvy participants, not ‘road-kill’.
Walsh is an advisory board member for the International Blogging and New Media Association, founder of the Social Media Club Brisbane and is on the steering committee for the recently launched Social Media Club Gold Coast.
“One of the things that I ask businesses to do is focus on risk management in the same way that they would with hiring, firing and the daily running of their business,” he says.
“One of the arguments I find persuasive is that whether we like it or not, people have the capacity to do this. It’s about cultural change and my advice to businesses is to learn to be part of the conversation, because people are going to talk about you anyway.”
Walsh has 20 years experience in business as a communications consultant and coach, following a public service career with senior positions in education, the arts and major events planning.
While he concedes that social media could potentially result in a decrease in revenues for agencies and marketing firms, this new method of mass communication should be embraced.
“I believe that the market will sort itself out,” says Walsh.
“The crucial thing is that social media can get measurement and the savvy will need to shift advertising models to accommodate.”
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