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social media marketing

Social media, more than ever before, has become a central marketing tool for most, if not all, organizations. This is a sentiment held by most industry players including customers and marketing gurus to whom public relations and customer care is key to organizational success.

Marketers have amplified their techniques to incorporate earned, owned and paid media into the whole marketing mix. Earned media is generally a channel in which the company or organization markets itself through PR campaigns.

Owned media is a direct link to the audience and client base through means such as personal websites, blogs, Facebook pages etc., while paid media is advertising through channels that require payment such as television.

This rapidly changing marketing mix, and the ever growing need for PR, demands a lot of planning time and execution to yield results. In many ways, all these three channels have an impact on your social media campaign.

Owned Media

The most important goal of most agencies is to try and connect these three forms of social media marketing campaigns and gain some sort of control over them. Owned media is fully under the control of the organization and therefore can be fully utilized to drive the necessary customer traffic to where it is required.

Companies wield control over what is posted on their social media channels. Channels such as blogs, websites and other social media channels such as Facebook and LinkedIn help build long-term relationships with targeted niches.

The key benefit to this form of media is control over the message and direct customer relations. Owned media is a tremendously important of social publishing with optimized content.

Paid Media

Advertising has always has been an effective marketing method, and one that is preferred by most marketing agencies. In the past, paid media was generally associated with TV broadcast ads. However, with the advent and gradual growth of social media, there has been a shift from this form of advertising to paid search engine advertising and sponsored ad placements.

In the past, TV commanded a national audience, but social media has a global presence and the audience is multiplied almost a hundredfold. Social media has created a connection between paid media and owned media such that pricey TV ads could be used to turbo charge viral ads on social sites such as YouTube.

Earned Media

Earned media is a direct result of timely and precisely executed campaigns on paid and owned media. This channel is generated through public relations investments that targets prospective customers and clients while creating service/product awareness.

This channel spurs consumer engagement and interaction in the same way that social media networks and communities spur gainful conversations. It is the creation of an unmonitored conversation in consumer circles that happens out of its own volition.

In PR circles, earned media is considered as the holy grail of social media campaigns. It is closely monitored and fuelled by paid and owned media. It cannot be forced. Consumer retweets and virality can only be earned and this is a direct result of paid and owned media.

This combination together creates a horizontal layer which touches every aspect of the business to acquire, care for, and retain customers. The same metrics that this combination worked with on traditional media currently apply on social media with an even greater impact as expressed above.

© Priya Florence Shah is a published author, online publisher, blogging and social media consultant and digital marketing trainer. Get access to her free ebook on using blogs to generate leads for your business.

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