I started a conversation about using social media to magnify a traditional marketing campaign, it led to this post, which was good enough to reprint, if I do say so myself.
There are two kinds of social media - the tools and what the public does with the tools. Maybe we should still be calling the tools Web 2.0, but you can get a lot of value reusing content and creative and broadcasting it through social media profiles. Audio and video, pictures, links, stories, maps, events, and and, yes, even press releases can be repackaged and used as content. This is where marketing is going - the creation of content instead of the running of campaigns.
Social media is most assuredly an add-on. That's why most corporate positions are within Marketing, Corporate Communications, or Information Technology, and only a few are managed independently. I would even go so far to argue that social media without content generated from other departments is solely a marketing and technology function subsidized as a traffic generator. That's certainly how it's being sold.
Some purists (mainly folks who have never taken a check for their work) want to say that social media is about conversation only, a silly definition that precludes any involvement by the corporation as an entity, and restricting social media use to individuals inside the company. Let's count the number of bloggers, podcasters, and new media publications that started out with revolutionary promises, and quickly came to mimic "traditional media."
TechCrunch, PopSugar, Daily Candy, Huffington Post, Pajamas Media...
Traditional Media and social media feed off each other - I use traditional media to boost my client campaigns all the time - it's one of the major promises of a good campaign (excuse me, of good content). At the same time, using social media to disseminate message and creative packs a double barrel. It reuses content (good for budgets), and works as a trojan horse to create extra touchpoints within the corporation that make the corporation more responsive, hence fulfilling the promise of social media using more traditional, top-down, hierarchical models.
The only question now is are people doing it. And do they know how.