Todd Giannattasio started out building websites, and has moved on to driving traffic to website as president and CEO of Tresnic Media. Todd was kind enough to talk with us about social media and what it means to marketing. Let’s learn!

How has social media changed marketing for mid to large companies?

I believe in the holistic approach to digital marketing, so without social media, technical SEO, quality content, CRO, and so on, you are missing out on the full potential of your online presence.

Social media used to be seen by companies as something that let them just broadcast their own messages to people, and they’re finally coming around and seeing that’s not the right approach. Just going and screaming about yourself or pushing sales or products exclusively is not something that any audience is going to be interested in, so it won’t help your bottom line.

Everything is so intertwined now that as a company, you need to have a full digital ecosystem to attract, convert, nurture and close customers. Using social media is not only a way to broadcast your own messages, but attract qualified prospects to your business through high-quality content, establish credibility as a thought leader, build relationships with prospects and strategic partners, provide customer support for existing clients, research your target market for opportunity gaps – not only in marketing, but in products and service offerings that can help your business grow…

And the list goes on and on. Without social media, your efforts in other online areas like blogging, SEO or even a having a beautifully designed website will fall short.

Has technology introduced any new challenges for marketing departments?

If you have the right mentality for technology, that it’s a tool to help make your life easier, then the challenges are just a learning curve. But if you suffer from shiny object syndrome and are continuously moving from one solution to another just because it’s the newer technology, then you won’t ever be able to achieve your goals.

The rate at which technology is advancing is tremendous, and certainly beneficial in most cases, but just because something is new doesn’t mean you have to use it. You need to make sure that it’s aligned with your goals and how you can accomplish them more easily, then give them time to work properly and for everyone to get on board.

The worst case is when a company buys a new piece of software on a three-year contract, but no one can spend time learning how to use it. Even if that new software is awesome, it’s a waste of money because it’s not being used.

What do you wish every mid to large company knew about social media?

That it takes time to build an audience, and there are several different use cases. I think we’re at a time right now where companies may try one aspect for too short of a time and call social media in general a failure for them and never look at it again.

If that’s the case, eventually your competition’s audience is going to grow so large that you’ll be left behind without a chance to compete.

If negative content about your company goes viral, what’s the one thing any company should do?

Own up to any mistakes, be transparent, truly try to solve the problem and be helpful to whoever was wronged.

If you step up and join in, you have the stage to now show off your ability to go above and beyond the call of duty for your customers. Look at those challenges as opportunities for greatness.

How will social media change marketing in the future?

Social media itself is just a communication tool, like any other technology. It’s important to understand who owns what and how to leverage the different channels.

As most companies are now experiencing, Facebook has essentially taken away your voice unless you pay. Make sure you own your content and your platform. That’s why building your own content hub (through a blog on your website) and your own, proprietary audience (usually through email collection, but could be your own online community or app or something else) is so important. I think that’s what brands will start to see more clearly in the future.

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