Social Media is not Marketing
The more I read and learn from various web, tech and media pundits across the net, the more I get concerned that the marketing community has tried to vertically integrate itself with Social Media, trying to hide themselves amongst the clutter until it’s time to pounce. Much like tumor that sits dormant for years until it explodes into a malignant cancer.So for sake of clarity lets get something straight; Social media per say is not marketing!
The more old school and heritage marketers try an embrace social media tools into their marketing mix, the more difficult they find it becomes. Why? for two reasons; firstly social media is a vehicle for social interaction not a billboard. Secondly because it relies on real life engagement to develop awareness and brand loyalty, lets face it traditional marketers know nothing of engagement, they only know “in your face” advertising which will always be a one way street. Marketers and Advertisers are trying to convince us they care. The fact that they have only ever percieved the public as a set a socioeconomic demographic statistics and buying groups, doesn’t seem to bother them. So what makes us think that will change.? (except for their own rhetoric and hype)
These are the halicion days much like the dot com bubble, people all over the world are joining the social media networks, because everybody else is, and no-one like being left out. This goes for the advertisers as well. Increasingly though one joins a social media network, enters into the fancy Web 2.0 interface and finds themselves confronted with advertising, WTF we thought we left that all behind with TV and Magazines. If anything is going to force the social media roller coaster to stop at the top it will be the unfettered saturation of advertising interlaced within the networks.
Users now co-ordinate and operate in syncronised groups, entire friend networks are deciding to ditch Facebook and the McDonalds end of social media and create their own private and customised networks. We are going to see more and more of this as dissatisfaction develops with the mega networks. How do we know this?, go to any shopping mall, alongside the big department stores, live the boutiques, from clothing to food, boutiques offer more than a one size fits all solution, and as users get more savvy they are going to seek out and create their own boutique networks.