Social Media: Highest Cost, Lowest Impact?

Many people in the business community are still skeptical of the value of social media. Some feel that it’s a fad and others approach it with trepidation as a result of marketers continually ramming it down their throats that they need to ‘get with the picture’.

I find it presumptuous to think that if you’re not engaged with social media that it’s hurting your business.

Social media is just that, it’s ‘media’. It’s not a phenomena or a beast that must be tip toed around for fear of it biting. I’m neither in awe of or cynical about social media, it’s a communications tool and another avenue to publish content.

How is Social Media Changing Marketing?

It’s simply giving an honest picture of a company’s overall strategy and perception of value. By this I mean it’s revealing low value as much as it’s showcasing firms that can offer high value.

It’s exposing weaknesses in marketing direction and how companies think about and understand their customers. If people have nothing interesting to say it shows, likewise if people are switched-on they’re contributions are engaging.

All this means is that social media is not a bandwagon you simply jump on, like all successful communication it requires thought, planning and execution with clear outcomes stipulated first.

Beware of Experts & Employ Common Sense

There are countless people in the marketing world who refer to themselves as experts in social media. Many proclaim to have tactics that if you ignore, you’ll be hung out to dry as the dinosaur of your industry. Social media is simply another avenue to communicate value with your audience.

The key difference with social media as opposed more traditional marketing such as direct mail aside from the cost benefit, is that you can communicate in real time, and it provides a way for your audiences to respond and interact with your content, effectively opening a dialogue with your market.

John Thompson

Peter Thompson: Peter, a futurist and tech commentator, writes about emerging technology trends and their potential impacts on society.