According to Chris Lawson, when creating a cross-platform social media community, companies have to focus on the possibilities available and be brave. It is of great importance to have an eye on the macro-context and think ahead. Who would have anticipated the role of Facebook a few years ago?
As media are becoming more and more saturated, companies should have a multi-channel marketing strategy in place, which should nevertheless fit the brand's philosophy. The Guardian has effectively engaged in such a strategy and acts as a "social reader" by using a variety of channels.
It has recognised the need for different channels in order to reach different types of followers and to spread different types of content. Its followers serve as a brilliant marketing department with regard to sharing and spreading news and content.
Moreover, the role of the brand has changed within social networks and a company building up a social media community has to pay attention to this important factor, constantly evolve and learn.
Lawson identifies five golden principles of multi-channel marketing:
(1) Engagement is when you connect with the heart as well as the mind
(2) Let your audience do your marketing for you
(3) Use all available media channels
(4) Relevance is everything
(5) Smaller engaged audience are more important than those don't want to be there