Social butterfly

Gone are the days when being social meant a face-to-face encounter. Who needs to take time to be face-to-face when Facebook is so much faster? But what are the implications if you are a business owner, where establishing relationships with clients is crucial to success? Should you be twittering, or is that unprofessional? And exactly what are you supposed to be saying on that podcast? Kristin Sundin Brandt, a 1994 Wheaton graduate, has plenty of answers. And apparently they are good ones because she just won top honors in the national Awards for Publications Excellence (APEX) competition.

Brandt is vice president at Sundin Associates, a marketing and advertising agency in Natick, Mass. The two-part series of articles she wrote for the American Bankers Association’s Bank Marketing magazine were real winners in the category of “How-To-Series.”  In the articles, she holds the hand of the socially shy and walks them through the new media-from podcasts to blogs.

She writes: “With the list of new Web sites, online services and social networks-MySpace, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Gather, Eons, Twitter, Jaiku, just to name a few-growing every day, it can be easy for a marketing officer to feel overwhelmed by the options. For many, the pressure is on to figure out how to leverage these new technologies. But the real question is: Should we leverage these new technologies?”

Yes, but you need to figure how best to do that for your business. And realize, she wrote, that social media is “not a replacement for traditional marketing and advertising tools. Just like you can’t reach 100 percent of the population through your local newspaper, TV station or radio station, you cannot expect to reach every potential customer through electronic means. When considering your target audience, new media such as blogs, podcasts and social media networking should be considered as a piece of your marketing mix, and selected only when appropriate.”

Brandt frequently speaks on the topic of social media and has helped many Sundin clients successfully get social in the world of Web 2.0. She has a gift for connecting with people, which she regularly uses as executive editor and co-host of “Manic Mommies,” a weekly podcast for parents seeking a work-life balance.

To read her two winning entries, go here: Go to the bottom of the page and click on the two new media white papers.