Funny thing about most of the really smart people in social media and marketing – they don’t promote themselves as social media “gurus.” So it is with Olivier Blanchard, rather, he considers himself a smart marketer who knows how to integrate social media into business processes.

Olivier Blanchard brought some wonderful insight to those attending i-SCOOP’s Fusion Marketing Experience in Brussels.

Social media is not a magic incantation which will propel your marketing to all new heights of success. As Olivier describes it, social media plugs into a plethora of departments and initiatives. It’s not just about acquisition! It’s about advertising, lead generation, recruiting, education, customer retention, customer support and so many other aspects of your business. If you don’t integrate social correctly then it’s not likely to help you achieve the goals you have in mind.

According to Olivier Blanchard, there are four core disciplines of social media management:

  • Strategy: development
  • Operations: integration
  • Management: monitoring, reputation management, community management and customer support
  • Measurement: Analysis

The four core disciplines also happen to be the four key phases of your social media program development.

To make social media work for your company you have to ask the right questions and not get distracted by the numerous wrong questions out there. For example, focusing on just building Twitter follower numbers or pondering such things as what to put on your Facebook page can pull you away from the more important issues of setting goals and measuring success.

One of the first issues which come up when any organization starts talking about integrating social media, concerns who will manage it. This can turn into a real turf war and it’s completely unnecessary because social media plugs into all your business functions from customer service to research and beyond. So, as far as Olivier is concerned, HR, marketing, PR, customer service, business development and yes, a community manager/blogger should all be involved.

And remember, it’s not just about putting up a Facebook page. It’s about owning that page and managing it to serve your customers and your goals once it’s online. If you are going to get into social media, be prepared for the effort involved in doing it right.

One quote from Olivier that resonated with a lot of people at The Fusion Marketing Experience was this: “Social Media is a visible extension of who you are as a company. It is both a microphone and a mirror.”