Social Media Fails To Manifest As Marketing Medium
When I read that headline on MediPost I was certain that people who are saying that have yet to receive a clue. If you ask 100 people if advertising influences their decisions then the majority of respondents would say ‘no’. That does not mean you stop advertising. They just don’t know how media influences them.
The same thing goes for social networks. Marketers may dream that some day we can call them marketing networks but I wouldn’t hold may breath. People are there to connect with each other, to talk about their dog and how their day went. I do too. Sure, sometimes you stumble upon something great and insightful but for the most part it’s just chatter. When you try to turn it into a home shopping network people will just leave.
“What we’re seeing is that word-of-mouth is still the No. 1 most influential source, followed by TV. The influence of social media isn’t at the bottom of the list, but it is somewhere in the long tail of marketing – about the same as print ads, or online [display] ads.” says Dave Tice, vice president and group account director at Knowledge Networks, and the top analyst behind the report.
But there’s a bit more to it than that. We tend to talk about brands. Some say that about 1/6 of our conversations are about brands. Up until recently this talk was cheap, just hot air. Now, with the social networks, this talk is permanently recorded, indexed and searchable. Word of mouth has found a new carrier in the form of social media. A carrier where others can tap into your conversation.
This is the marketers opportunity to engage, change minds and sell. But tread carefully as the rules are still vague…
Image credit: Alex Brazhnikov