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.
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:-
- make or break brands
- change your business
- grow by 37% to over over $1.4 billion, and will be helped by improved monetization possibilities
- bring change to the traditional search models
- will normalize
- over time help bring more visitors to your website, and can ultimately attract more customers
- will just be an element that people expect
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.