So social media, what gives?

A short while ago Jeremy Pepper asked if “Social Media can do what it claims?” Now setting aside that social media is actually just a phrase consisting of two words and therefore technically incapable of claiming anything, let’s have a look at what people have claimed on its behalf.

A quick google of “social media claims” pulls up, well not much actually.

It’s claiming “centre stage” and also to provide “social equality,[and an] even playing field”

And really that is all.

But if we take a peak at “Social media will” then the claims made on its behalf are a little more striking.  Apparently social media will:-

Out of those 7 statements, I think I agree with just two, mebbe three.

I’m not aware of any examples of brands being broken by it, as yet, though please do tell me if I’m wrong. I’m also not sure how we can measure growth in this area and I’m equally unsure how it will change search models.  The post that statement comes from is a prediction list for 2008 and states:

With the sheer size of data available, search engine providers will look to introduce tiered services providing more accurate results to those willing to pay. Whilst this will begin with services to business, over time we will see tiered search services bundled into our ISP packages as value differentiators.

Mycustomer.com, Seven trends for social media in 2008

But really, why would I pay when my google-fu is pretty good?

I believe social media can bring more visitors to your website, but only if you actually have a decent strategy and you will only get more customers if you are providing a service or product that people actually want.  No amount of blogging or tweets is going to make people suddenly buy crap, or at least buy your crap more than once.

I do believe that social media will, one day, normalize and just become an element that people expect, and I think that comes from both sides.  Brands will expect a social media strategy and tactics as part of every marketing campaign and consumers will also take it for granted that they can find information about brands in the places that they look, wherever that might be.  And I think the best thing about the day social media is normal, is that there will be no need for social media experts, just as the very wise Jeremiah Owyang points out, we no longer have email experts.

4 thoughts on “So social media, what gives?

  1. Brands may not have been ‘broken’ by social media per se – but some have had a nasty sting or two (thinking about the Coca Cola Argentina / Joel Veitch IP breach, or the PR companies that were caught with their hands in their clients’ Wikipedia cookiejars for instance). Although bearing in mind the number of people who drink coke etc, vs the number of intarweb people aware of the story(s), it’s arguable just how deep a sting it is I guess…

  2. Hi Kerry. At the risk of incurring your disdain, I’ll suggest another “will” statement for social media. I think normalization will manifest itself similar to the maturing of web sites. Over time, customers just expected a company to have a site. In the future, customers will look to social media for claim validation and peer recommendation – Google will help and so will your own trusted networks.

  3. @Peter – thanks for dropping by.

    No need to worry about incurring any disdain, am not actually a very disdainful person, I’m just a little het up about the current social media hyperbole.

    I agree with you, normalisation will follow the website route, but I think it will take lot longer. My silver surfer dad finds it weird if a company doesn’t have a website but I can’t see him ever turning to twitter/facebook/etc for information and third party reviews. However I do and will always do so from now on in, and gen Y prolly has done since they could read a monitor.

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