Anders, Minkler & Diehl was prepared for the recent U.S. Supreme
Court decision on the national health care overhaul.
With the ink barely dry on the ruling, the St. Louis accounting
firm noted the outcome on its Gray Matter blog and linked the post
to a social media site - a heads up to clients and potential
customers that the company intended to stay on top of the situation.
An analysis of the act's potential tax consequences on businesses
Anders, Minkler & Diehl once invested time and no small amount of
capital for editing, layout, printing and postage to deliver tax
tips and legislative and policy updates to clients on a leisurely
quarterly schedule. Now, it operates somewhat more like a digital
news operation, responding immediately to breaking events on
multiple platforms - anticipating clients' questions and digital
searches at the precise moment they arise.
"I've been in (marketing) 30 years, and social media has changed
the game more than anything I can think of, because of all the ways
people can now see your message," said Donna Erbs, the company's
As recently as five years ago, businesses and nonprofits alike
still seemed puzzled at the business value of social media
platforms, then derided as a what-I-had-for-lunch frivolity. Even
now, they struggle to quantify exactly what impact their investments
in social media and Web content produce for their bottom lines.
But the strategy is as much defensive as offensive, as it grows
increasingly clear that companies with no digital presence are
becoming simply invisible to many consumers.
Businesses that don't embrace social media as a marketing tool do
so at their own peril, warns Steve Nicholls, author of "Social Media
"Any company ignoring it is already behind," Nicholls said.
The laggards miss out on an increasingly powerful branding and
promotion opportunity. Secondly, institutions lacking oversight of
consumer review sites such as Yelp, where any angry consumer can
rant publicly, are essentially waving a white flag on damage
control. Finally - with a Jobvite survey reporting that 92 percent
of hiring managers use social media to recruit - the remaining eight
percent are missing the opportunity to attract top talent.
It wasn't that long ago that Kaysha Kalkofen and JoAnna Dettman,
the co-founders of tSunela - a digital marketing firm with offices
in Clayton and Portland, Ore. - had a tough time selling the concept
of social media to clients.
Kalkofen and Dettman say -...'You want me to be on Facebook? Why?
Isn't it a college thing?'" was a fairly typical response to the
suggestion that a company integrate social media into its marketing
Now, rare is the corporation, small business or nonprofit without
a presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and other
prominent social media sites. The overarching objective is the most
basic lesson learned in Marketing 101.
"The number one thing you're trying to do is get people talking,"
said Communications Director Jessi Brawley, who oversees social
media for the Foster Care and Adoptive Coalition.
MANAGING THE MESSAGE
The experts say a successful social media strategy involves far
more than signing up with Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.
Health care institutions, for example, need to ensure that posts
don't violate federal regulations protecting patient privacy.
Christian Hospital in north St. …