Redmarketer

December 16, 2008

Social ME-dia and Where It’s Going

Filed under: Information Supernova, Marketing Tactics, Media Origination — Robert John Ed @ 1:24 am

I don’t write as much about new technologies and the whole “Web 2.0” thing like I used to.  There are a few good reasons.  The first is that the terminology seems to have shifted from Web 2.0 to social media.  Terminology does mean something, but as of now the pulse of social media seems to be slowing.  There was a lot more excitement about the space some years ago.  Everyone was jazzed about utilizing these new technologies into their businesses.

So what happened?  What was missing?

Results.

I’m yet to see the kind of results that the hype dictated.  My guess is that the people who control budgets for larger companies have been waiting as well.  It’s funny, this is a game of dominoes and until one big player makes a splurge and gets results, the others will wait.   I know people who work in social media and I read about it all the time, even today.  But I don’t think it’s creating the groundswell in larger corporations yet; it will be some time before it does.  The problem is that social media is still self centered.  Companies are trying to be social…about themselves!  It won’t work.

One serious issue we are seeing now is that social media may not necessarily be a conducive way to promote your business.  Crazy, I know.  There are some very good examples of business models that have thrived, but primarily E-tail distributors.  The truth is that we don’t know yet how this will all play out.  My personal thoughts on the matter are that social media will continue to proliferate but businesses aren’t going to make money as they’d expect by applying old ideas.  It will transform into something else altogether before it’s easy enough for any company to take advantage of it.  Some big things can happen for the first movers, but I believe as it stands, those companies that happen to make use of social media correctly and gain substantially are the exception and will be until the model alters significantly and the spoils are half gone.

What’s really worth thinking about?  Disruption. The tools to produce truly disruptive services and products utilizing the technology are already in our grasps today.   We are all still thinking in analog terms.  We advertise with banners on websites that key demographics visit.  We scrape email addresses from anyone and send them a message because it’s free.  We are applying the old ideas to the technologies, and blanching when grandma doesn’t look good in a miniskirt.

So here’s my advice to marketers:  stop thinking advertising via new technologies and start thinking of how to harness those same technologies to improve your products, services and business with your current customers.

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