Will Business Boldly Go Into The Social Media?

Social Media – The Final Frontier?

Pierre Far, in a guest post on Techipedia today asks the question, Is Social Media the Final Frontier of Marketing? Given the popularity of such activities as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, it’s clearly a question that many marketers must be asking.

As confirmation of the topicality of the question, only three days ago Business Week had a long nine page article suggesting that Social Media Will Change Your Business. A few quotes will show how Business Week is seeing all this.

Go ahead and bellyache about blogs. But you cannot afford to close your eyes to them, because they are simply the most explosive outbreak in the information world since the Internet itself. And they are going to shake up just about every business. … Given the changes barrelling down upon us, blogs are not a business elective. They are a prerequisite. And yes, that goes for us, too.

Still, blogs could end up providing the perfect response to mass media’s core concern: the splintering of its audience. Advertisers desperate to reach us need to tap niches (because we get together only once a year to watch the Super Bowl). By piggybacking on blogs, they can start working that vast blogocafé, table by table. Smart ones will get feedback, links to individuals-and their friends. That’s every marketer’s dream.

In a world chock-full of citizen publishers, we mainstream types control an ever-smaller chunk of human knowledge. Some of us will work to draw in more of what the bloggers know, vetting it, editing it, and packaging it into our closed productions. But here’s betting that we also forge ahead in the open world. The measure of success in that world is not a finished product. The winners will be those who host the very best conversations.

Overall Business Week seems to suggest that the big mainstream companies will still be the ones in control. Perhaps they’re missing the real point about social media. Pierre Far sees it in a different light.

The point is that consumers now have a more potent aggregate power: someone with a problem can now reach others with the same problem faster, build a community around this shared problem easily, and mobilize lots of people behind the common cause more efficiently. That’s what’s new: a significant leap in efficiency. This gives consumers a loud voice that companies have to listen to.

This message has been around for some time. It started with the Clue Train Manifesto in 1999. As the authors said then, As a direct result, markets are getting smarter—and getting smarter faster than most companies. If Business Week does not fully understand even now, how long will it take for the mainstream companies to realize that others are now in charge?

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19 thoughts on “Will Business Boldly Go Into The Social Media?”

  1. Barry, this is so true on many different levels. The social media explosion known as web 2.0 is changing the way we (Realtors) do business. There are more and more networking and bookmarking sites popping up every day. The latest things that we are experiencing are the customizable wordpress themes that are essentially static sites built around a hub (blog) to give the consumer/reader the total package and prevent them from leaving the site. Nice article.

  2. Not sure if it’s the final frontier but it is the present frontier. I think it will definitely separate the men from the boys as it is time consuming and thought provoking to create blog posts, read and comment on others, and make friend along the way. Not everyone is willing to spend the time to make a difference.

  3. Not sure if it’s the final frontier but it is the present frontier. I think it will definitely separate the men from the boys as it is time consuming and thought provoking to create blog posts, read and comment on others, and make friends along the way. Not everyone is willing to spend the time to make a difference.

  4. Social Media as we know is the first steps of web2.0. This is why it’s not that corporate yet… Business has its cautions.. so they wait and see… We’ll see the whole new Web 2.0 soon!

  5. Social media is widely used in business, as you say.
    People make profit out of everything.
    I make blogs about love and friendship
    and get money for clicks.
    Pretty sad.

  6. Well, Remont, I think the author talks about the present time. For now it is true.
    Of course we can’t guess what is gonna happen in future, for now people make business through the social media.

  7. Great post, and I totally agree. I doubt it is final frontier, but agree that it is definitely the one we are in now and it is kind of amazing to me that more big businesses are not realizing it and jumping on. I do believe that everything is always evolving and of course a few years down the road there will be a new “frontier” we will be entering.

    All the best.

  8. Don’t you just see most of what is considered “social media” stuff as just being newly developed tools? I like to think of it that way. Regardless of the business one is in, there are tried and true tools of the trade, and always new and different ones being developed. Kind of how I see all things social marketing-wise.

  9. The wrong thing about it is that we sometimes don’t realise when people make money out of our communication with others.

    I have a blog where I write about family relationships and kids’ behaviour. Google puts lots of commercials there, spammers fill it up with junk. That is nasty.

  10. Social media puts more power in consumers’ hands than ever before, and companies need to recognize that the messages their customers post will in time become as valuable as TV commercials, online ads, and magazine and newspaper ads. It’s really become important for big brands to create great networking image.

  11. Good post.

    All of this withstanding the biggest problem I’m having these days is to get my clients to understand the important of social media in terms of brand building. They still think it’s some kind of novelty that teens are into. I’ve been trying to get people to understand that social media sites are having a huge influence not only in the conversations people are having about a brand, but also on the search results that are coming up.

    I recently wrote a post about the tools that people are using to monitor the online space and that clients are still hung up in web analaytics to judge their brands health in the online space, but I’d like to hear your thoughts on it. E-mail me some time!

    Digital Strategist / TakeMeToYourLeader.com

  12. The catch of internet marketing is to study the search engines strategies. The better you understand the search engines the higher you can earn from internet marketing. Internet marketing is many people’s bread and butter these days.

  13. Web 2.0 isn’t the “Final Frontier”, it seems to be in it’s infancy. It’ going to continue to evolve and advertisers are going to continue to try and exploit socail media any they can. Particularly now with the challenging economic times.

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