Social Media channels are by no means totally different or even totally new. The term “social tools” was coined in 1999. It’s been a decade now. Yet the number of people in the world who still have no idea about blogging is staggering. Surprisingly or not, not every advertising/marketing professional has a blog. This makes me wonder how well the industry itself understands the benefits of Social Media.
If they don’t know or use even the oldest Social Media channels, how are they supposed to understand and use channels that were established recently but that draw on the same principles as other social tools?
Social media presents many new possibilities for conducting business. Sticking with your metaphor, the interim challenge is consistently proving that planes yield enough value for the Army in order for people to even realize the need (and then pay for) an Air Force. That’s happening as understanding of influencer value, social media Web metrics, etc. progresses but for many companies that’s still a leap.
What will be more apparent for companies soon if it’s not already is immediate value – even as measured by ‘traditional’ metrics – for functions like customer service, R&D and sales.
Marketers need to take the hint social media provides, and look at marketing holistically. Yes, this is an old concept, but if we look at marketing from a POV where customer interaction is as important as customer satisfaction, we may just start to make some progress. The best companies are doing this.