The ASS-u-me-d revolution

The media is caught up in their own hype…again. I remember in 2000 when websites were going to replace all building, no more brick and mortar, Pets.com had a trillion dollar market cap, yadda yadda yadda. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. Back at their old tricks, the media wants us to think that all of this social media stuff is a revolution, a little something like this:

Is social media all that? Or just another round of media hype!?!?!

(Not quite Che Guevera, but you get the point.) They also try to validate their claims by “creating” stories like the “Twitter revolutions” in Moldova and Iran. But as this New Yorker article points out, it is a bunch of BS: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/10/04/101004fa_fact_gladwell

Here are a couple of  quotes from the article for those who are reading adverse.

  • “ As for Moldova’s so-called Twitter Revolution…Twitter had scant internal significance in Moldova, a country where very few Twitter accounts exist.”
  • “In the Iranian case, meanwhile, the people tweeting about the demonstrations were almost all in the West… no one seemed to wonder why people trying to coordinate protests in Iran would be writing in any language other than Farsi.”

In reality,  social media is a little more like this:

Social Media as the evolution of Word of Mouth Marketing

It is an evolution of communication. And all those social media platforms are just communications tools. That’s right, I said JUST, just like newspapers, phones, email, etc.

So what is evolving? In my personal opinion, WOMM (word of mouth marketing) is evolving.

How is it changing? In the past a network was usually made up of a group of people, with similar likes, and part of the same geographic  community. Now people are able to share information without the barriers of time and geography. People with like interests are able to connect, all around the world in real time.

What does this mean for companies? In the near future, if not now, consumers will only be satiated by good great customer service. In the past a bad customer service experience might have made it to 10 people, usually closest friends via phone, email or in person. Now your one slip up could make it in front of hundreds, thousands or even millions of customers and potential customers. To say Social Media is consumer driven is an understatement of great magnitude.

  • If you are B2C, you better watch your brand. Going viral for a negative event is a quick way to hurt the bottom line. Be a Domino’s, don’t be a Nestle!
  • If you play in the B2B space and don’t have a social media strategy, you can bet your competition does. If you don’t want to be a commodity, you better be the subject matter expert in your space. And great cost-effective ways to push, pull or search for information to and from a targeted audience is through blogs and social media platforms.

So put down your guns, there is no revolution. Quit fighting the change, there is nothing to be afraid of. Just get out there and network! But don’t forget to:

  • be authentic,
  • be relevant and
  • be timely.

Keep it Social,

Don

Posted on: November 6, 2010, by : Social Don

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