By now, you know that we love social media. After all, we attend Social Media tradeshows, we author not one, not two, but three blogs and we are avid commenters and Facebook contributors (particularly on our favorite Facebook page, "What I Saw at the Direct Marketing Revolution").
We've even taken the additional step of proposing to be blog authors for some of our very favorite clients. Hey, we think we're pretty good at it -- why not help our customers be good at it, too?
So, today when I came across two really interesting and insightful articles from a couple of fellow bloggers about what Social Media is and isn't, you can imagine that I thought it was definitely worth a blog post to share these musings with our favorite readers.
First, I read Marc Meyer's post on his blog "Emerson Direct Marketing Observations." Marc discusses 11 things that Social Media is Not. As you can probably guess from the title, Marc outlines his thoughts on what social media isn't . . . all in an effort to gain a clearer definition of what it is. He brings up some great points . . . it's not static -- it's ever-changing; it's not calm -- it disrupts and is meant to disrupt; it's not many-to-many and not necessarily one-to-one -- but it can be better than that -- one-to-one realtime.
Finally, Marc ends on the point that Social Media is not the Final Frontier of Marketing -- giving full credit to a post by Brian Solis of Futureworks. In Brian's post, he discusses some of the thoughts of Pierre Far, who had originally discussed this point in an interview on the Techipedia blog (phew!).
Brian succinctly states:
If anything Social Media, as it exists today, has simply created a more efficient platform which amplified and organized people’s voices as well as democratized content, and in doing so, collectively built a foundation for a new level influence between companies, traditional media, influencers, and people in general.Brav-o! This view is very much in line with our view that Social Media is yet another tool in the overall marketing toolkit. If you integrate it into what you are doing today now, you will be well ahead of your competitors over the long-run. Why? Because despite all of the hoo-haa over Social Media, it is still not widely used or accepted by the many . . . and those few who see this and use it now will definitely have the upper hand.
Social Media doesn’t necessarily replace traditional marketing. Everything is concentric. Everything should work together.
The reason for this is that it is becoming increasingly apparent that consumers and businesses alike want to be involved in the conversation. It isn't just the younger generations -- it's all generations. There is a simple reason for this . . . people are sick of being marketed at. Businesses and consumers alike want to be involved in what messages are sent to them and the overall process of deciding what products and services to purchase.
While not the final frontier of marketing, social media is definitely the newest kid on the block -- and the channel that will separate companies from one another when integrated into the marketing strategy and executed really well.
Take a look at these posts -- both offer really compelling insights and will get you thinking about your own social media strategy. And, if you have any other ideas as to what social media is and isn't, shoot us a comment.