I'll try to start making my posts shorter. I know everyone is running crazy.
Something needs to be cleared up because there is almost an edge of "frantic confusion" about what Social Media is, what it can do and also about what it is not, and what it cannot do.
Let's start with the isn't (s) and can not(s).
Social Media isn't advertising in the traditional sense that it shouldn't be thought of as a "one way" tool. Traditional advertising, whether a TV spot, magazine ad or jingle on the radio doesn't involve conversation. It is designed to make an "impression." Period.
Social Media can not be tracked and analysed in the same way as traditional media (some would argue that traditional media analytics are bogus anyway). When someone asks me "What is the ROI?" or they explain to justify to the company bean counters that spending money on Social Media requires they put a value on the investment of time and resources, my reply is another question, "What is the value of being concerned about your customers?"
What Social Media IS is community. Social Media is the new place to meet. I want you to try something. Go to the free tool Google Trends. Start experimenting with terms. Nothing will show up along with Facebook. You will not find a term. "God?"--doesn't register. "Oprah?"--not even close. Wall Street, Obama, Tea Party, China, Haiti, Porn--doesn't matter. There is no term which registers. Facebook flattens everything. It is the most significant phenomena in the UNIVERSE!!! Perhaps of all time. What this tells me is that we still don't have a clue of what this is all going to turn out to mean. But for sure, one thing we know. For those who don't get "in," you might as well be stuck in a cave in Tibet.
What IS accomplished by integrating a Social Media campaign or campaigns in to your overall marketing/communications plan is that you engage customers in the most dynamic way and reach them through a network of friends and family.
This is already too long. Call me sometime to talk about how we can help you!