Social Media Marketing Mayhem

On February 12, 2009, in Social Media, by Brett Duncan

Is Social Media Marketing reaching its tipping point? 

For the past eight weeks or so, I noticed a HUGE upswing in the amount of social media marketing posts. For example . . . .

I’m no social media guru, but I’m no novice, either. I think what we’re seeing is a mix of three main ingredients:

  1. Marketers and tech geeks are enamoured with social media marketing, and so we keep hearing about it, and the necessity of corporate involvement at some level. 
    The problem with this: As marketers (or quasi-marketers) are susceptible to doing, we’re falling in love with the medium and losing sight of the message. Too many companies aren’t changing their crappy product, but rather they change where and how they talk about it. And then they’re shocked when it doesn’t work. 
  2. Companies are losing money and cutting back on their marketing budgets. They are finally open to this word-of-mouth thing that all the kids have been doing lately. 
    The problem with this: Yeah, WOM and Social Media may be cheaper in hard costs, but they cost you in time, experience and savvy. Doing it wrong can cost you way more than a bad 30 second spot in the Super Bowl. Companies want the output but still aren’t ready to put in the time and learning.  
  3. Social networks, Facebook especially, is no longer the playground of twenty-somethings. Everybody born after 1955 is on Facebook, it seems. 
    The problem with this: Nothing, actually. Accept that marketers will have to continue to target within the channel. But the fact that more and more people are ‘going social’ is the biggest cause for the tipping point.
  4. We have a new President who is embracing more efficient and relevant ways to communicate, and can point to a campaign that owes itself to embracing social media. 
    The problem with this: Again, nothing really. It’s actually pretty cool.  

So, what say you? Is social media peaking, or is this just the tip of the iceberg? What’s the best way you’ve seen it used for marketing purposes?

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3 Responses to “Social Media Marketing Mayhem”

  1. Thanks for the reference to my post Brett. I am not sure I would call this Social Media Marketing Mayhem. I also am not sure we are at the tipping point yet. The term “social media” is still not a term the average person might even use. We as marketers and tech geeks use it but many “average folks” I have talked to don’t use this lingo. Social media is still just evolving and I think we will see it grow significantly in the next 5 years as mobility devices proliferate and more applications are developed.

    Facebook is one of the few main-stream platforms and we will see more come into the mix as technology allows. People for example are very enamored with Twitter but it is still far from mass-adoption. I think it is an exciting time for marketers because we are still on the cusp of a new frontier!

  2. One of the issues with social media is that it has created a whole new language that many people have not yet learned. Not only do they need to have an understanding of how social media works, but they also have to understand the “language” of this new media. As we discuss this we talk about being “dug, tweeting, blogging, SEO, SEM” and on and on. If we step back and just listen to the new language, no wonder people are confused.

    Additionally, you are spot on that we are just scratching the surface in using this as a marketing tool. While some companies are not doing it well, others have brought in the right resources to help them learn and develop the tools so social media can be more effective. The issue most clients have is understanding how it fits into their current marketing mix and how to assess its value. We will see tremendous growth in the next several years. And, I do believe we will see some new twists and turns as to how it is used and measured.

  3. Brett says:

    David – as for the mayhem, sure that might not be the right term. But it does seem like everyone in our world, at least, is trying to make sense of social media. In doing so, I’m afraid there’s a lot of crap being thrown against the wall, and not much of it is sticking.

    Elaine – As we begin to scratch the surface, here’s the million dollar question: which social media platforms will be around long enough to invest in the learning curve necessary to make them fit your marketing plan?

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