About a month ago, Beth Harte wrote a post called about market segmentation, how marketers have used it in the past, and how Social Media is changing the game. Essentially, Beth points out that Social Media allows us the opportunity to do what we’ve never been able to do before – understand how our customers are talking and acting in their “native environments.” Sometimes, what we hear and learn isn’t so good. Other times, it’s fantastic. The danger is that a lot of people and companies are depending on Social Media alone now instead of integrating what is learned into other channels and segments of the company.

Wednesday is Integrated Marketing and Communications day for me, and I join Beth Harte and many other great people for #IMCChat at 8 PM EST every week. So this week, I thought I would examine ways that companies are integrating Social Media into other marketing channels or facets of the company – via these posts.

Cheryl Burgess wrote a fantastic post about Crisis Management a couple of weeks ago. This neatly defines the issue that a lot of companies are facing right now in terms of their marketing and their branding. As Cheryl points out, Social Media crises must be integrated into the overall crisis management plan.

This marvelous post by my friend Barry Dalton, titled Things aren’t always as they appear, analyzes how Social Media can work together with many other departments and channels to round out a customer service experience. What you learn about your customers from Social Media can affect how you train, how you finance, and many other factors.

In March of this year, Scott Monty, head of marketing for Ford, blogged about how Social Media plus email is more power. Integrating email marketing with Social Media has been a hot topic this year. Next week I’ll focus just on that subject alone, in fact! In Scott Monty’s case, he simply notes that integrating email with Social Media allows companies to talk to customers in a “less disjointed” way.

Some companies are looking like they are behind the times because they are not using Social Media as they should. Leigh Durst talks about Amazon’s failing Social Media strategy and even offers them advice. Do you think Amazon responded to Leigh’s post? Another example of how Social Media could and should be integrated into branding, reputation management, and customer service.

Looking back on 2010, how has Social Media impacted other areas of your business? Share your thoughts here!