For the past couple of weeks we have seen the social media ball bouncing back and forth. Social media is the greatest revolution in marketing. Social media is just the latest fad. There were a string of article claiming that social media is in fact “dead.” (A nice headline trick I decided against using.)
In What Is The Future Of The Social Media Role? I declared the end of the beginning for social media in B2B Marketing. And I have already described how organizations need to integrate social media into the marketing mix as well as into the DNA of our organizations.
What do you think? Are we seeing the end of social media or just the end of the hype? Read on to hear an overview of thoughts from three respected minds in marketing as well as my own view…
In Ad Age’s Do Campaign Failures Signal The End Of Social Media, Jonathan Salem Baskin (@jonathansalem) spent most of his 921 words signaling that indeed the end may be near. He points to the fact that Pepsi is falling behind Coke after it’s widely publicized move away from the Super Bowl to a social charity campaign. He also mentions that Burger King has fired it’s agency despite relative success in gaining social media attention but not sales. Jonathan says:
Every CMO should use this occasion to pause and reflect on the assumptions that were behind these efforts, especially if you’re about to roll out a social-media campaign or start giving away content for free.
But after refuting and anticipating all the arguments against his position, Jonathan defines his true mission: to end the silliness and start getting smart with social media. He advises:
CMOs need to discover new ways to do the old things that still matter: Offer products and services that someone truly needs, admitting that you want to sell stuff to them, and then properly serving them after they’ve given you their business.
Always happy to throw social under the bus, The Ad Contrarian (@AdContrarian) took it a bit further in Social Media’s Massive Failure. In the article, contrarian author, Bob Hoffman points to a number of Pepsi business results as “proof” that social media has ruined the company.
While I truly enjoy reading The Ad Contrarian and appreciate his attempts at keeping us all honest, I think he stretches this argument too far. The sales and market share figures he conveys cannot be fully attributed to the company’s social media efforts.
To round out this review, I would like to bring your attention to Social Media Is Failing by Douglas Carr @douglaskarr who states that he does believe there is value in social media as long as companies are already social and have already made the transition to the new online marketing reality.
His main point is that social media is an amplifier that requires a company with the DNA to take advantage of it. He concludes with this advice:
I don’t believe social media is dead as a marketing strategy… I just think it’s always been misdirected as a center of a strategy when it should not be.
I advise organizations to look at the participation figures below and ask these questions:
- How many of your potential customers use social media?
- How do they use social channels when making purchase decisions?
- Have you earned the right to engage them on these channel?