Does Social Media make Marketing sense?

Ah, the musings of a blogger. After more internal debate (being new to the world of blogs and their application has its intellectual benefits after all), we’re getting stuck into questions like:

What is social media?
Has anything really changed from a media point of view?
How do you quantify this from a marketing perspective?

As marketers, we should always be asking ourselves these questions internally. No airy-fairy thoughts about evangelism whatnot. Can we create something for R1 and sell it for R2?

Let's not get confused here... Blogging IS fun, great fun, but if there’s no tangible or measurable benefit – then we must accept it as an ego-stroking past time and a lightning fast way to distribute personal opinions to the world... and that’s that.

Is the blogosphere any different from community meetings of the middle ages? People shouting out their views in front of the gallows where the last voiced opinion that didn't have merit was about to be silenced (undugg? buried?). It’s just bigger and quicker?

Is the blogosphere any different from the USENET newgroups of 15 years ago ( still exists - it's just been Googified)? Again, kudos for the immediacy of RSS/Atom technology, but comments on a blog and forum posts aren’t really any different?

In fact, when you start to put the Social Web together as a “marketing offering” – there’s a lot of the same, dressed up to look different. Blogs, Blog Comments, Video Communities, Forums, Content Aggregators, Content Rating Tools, Comments on Content Rating Tools etc. etc.

This is definitely not a RANT against Social Media. I'm searching for measurability...

Because once properly measurable, properly theorised and properly explained to the Clients that have the money to invest... I reckon Social Media might dominate EVERY OTHER MARKETING CHANNEL within the next couple of years...

So, I started looking around and doing some research. The best place to start? Exactly what's on the mind of any community, anywhere. Moving pictures and sex. And yes, boy does it sell.

Next post takes a look at the marketing heroes of YouTube


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