September is on the calendar and school back in session. While enjoying the sunshine by the lake, I still received a steady stream of questions about this crazy world of social media. One of the more common ones – Is this thing here to stay? Is it worth investing marketing dollars in? Will it be a distant memory come next year or the year after?
My views are on the record but I think it is important highlight a number of points:
First, is social media marketing based on completely new principles? No. The fundamental principles of sales and marketing that have been with us since we started selling to each other still apply. What social media does is provide us with a revolutionary set of tools to apply these principles with. These tools deliver nuggets of timely relevant information – a perfect fit for the ADD society we currently live in.
Second, you don’t have to take my word for the impact social media and networks are having. You need simply look around you. What other companies in history have accomplished what Facebook, LinkedIn, or Groupon have in the same amount of time? Many other companies over the years have also had a great impact, but none that fast. This does not mean that these companies will be around forever but the speed at which users have adopted their services is nothing short of astounding.
I’ve heard it said in the past by business experts that really successful companies are great for a generation and then begin to fade or have less impact . It is possible, given the speed at which some social media/networking companies have grown, that they may also see their influence diminish faster. Assuming that’s right, does that mean you should keep your company out of the social media world for the next few years and wait until it all shakes out? Good luck with that.
Third, you can also take a look at recent studies from respected organizations to get a third party view of where the social media world is at. In my next post I will give you some highlights of a recent study conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.
In the meantime, for the latest on social media and Web marketing for corporations follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mikerabinovici.