Are You Leveraging Owned Media at Your Chamber?

By now you’ve probably heard of owned, earned and paid media. owning your chamber mediaForrester described it back in 2009 and although the vehicles have changed, the concepts remain the same.

The most valuable of the three is earned, because it’s the most trusted. However, it’s also not scalable or dependable. After all, your marketing approach can not rely solely on compliments. Can it operate entirely on referrals and compliments – sure, but you can’t depend on them, so as a marketer, you also build your paid and owned media.

Paid Media (display ads, radio, print, remarketing, social media promoted posts, etc.) is something we hate to do. Who wants to shell out the big bucks for what is largely disruptive marketing? It’s not how business gets done in 2014. But it is still a necessity and the recent changes in Facebook are making it more so.


What is Chamber-Owned Media?


As Forrester points out there is “fully-owned” (your website and blog) and “partially-owned” (your social media platforms). However, in 2014 it’s even more difficult to refer to social media as “partially owned.”

In light of the recent changes on Facebook, it’s important to understand you don’t own your social media platforms or the data on them. Some people compare social media to “renting” but that’s not accurate. When you rent you (usually) sign a lease and have certain rights because of that agreement. If either of the parties breaks that agreement, there are penalties that can be enforced.

This is not the case with social media. It’s free. There’s no service agreement. Platforms can change their layout, permissions and who sees your content with little, if any, feedback from you. Plus there’s no guarantee that the social media hot spot of today will be the same this time next year. (Wonder who could take the place of a giant like Facebook? Check this out.)

Yet, social media remains a great place to connect with members and potential members, share news and events of your chamber and have a more personalized approach in your communications.

So what’s a chamber to do?

  • Recapture your data. A few social media profiles will let you download your data. LinkedIn does. Set yourself a reminder to do this periodically.
  • Build your list. For the social media profiles that don’t allow downloads, build lists. Find ways to capture the information even if it means luring them off your social media profile and onto your website. Once you do that you can get them signed up for a newsletter, event or subscriber list.
  • Blog. Many chambers have wondered why they need a blog. In addition to becoming a publishing platform for your chamber, it helps you communicate in a much more endearing, personalized way. But best of all, it’s yours, hosted on your website. It has staying power.

Next time paid, earned and owned media come up in conversation know that “owned” is a more polite term for social media profiles than they probably deserve. Your blog and your website are your owned media.

Guest post by Christina Green

Image via Flickr by stevendepolo


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