Has Social Media had its Hey Day?
Recent studies show that the social media revolution has embedded itself in traditional mass-media organizations.
However, while there is an element of truth to this, social media, like the internet, newspapers, magazines and television are just tools. They are a medium that contains a ‘message’. Each medium dictates certain constraints and means of communicating which themselves create opportunities.
If we take a very brief look at the brief history of the web, we will quickly recognize a pattern. In the beginning, almost anything goes. The promise of what can be delivered is wildly exaggerated, mostly through optimism, and almost every man, his dog and his dog’s best friend (which would usually be a rubber bone) participate, hoping to strike it rich.
Then comes the shakedown. Those who have no real ambition, no plan, lack discipline, have no sense of organization (or any idea how to get any of these) begin to fall by the wayside. In the gap step the ‘big boys’ those who were late to adopt and adapt but wh0o have the finances and the discipline and the willpower to make things happen.
E-commerce on the web did not happen because amateurs went into it. It happened because large concerns needed to trade securely online. Social media is no exception. In order to ‘work it’ properly you need to have staying power, a clearly orchestrated strategy plus the ability to create or scout content. Technorati is the perfect example. Take away its army of dedicated bloggers and it will last no more than yesterday’s prawn sandwich.
So, yeah, the stories about social media not working or delivering its magic have an element of truth in that now we are beginning to see the first casualties. Social media, properly used, however, has not even began to come into its full potential. With Google gearing up to fight and Twitter and Facebook expanding their reach the true potential of social media is still undefined and largely untapped.
What is clear however, is that in order to really benefit from social media, you need to have a strategy in place that takes into account your strengths. Additionally, it needs to have specific targets and goals, all driven by a tactical, yet strategical, plan. You then need to have a way of measuring your social media marketing results and a means of fine-tuning them.