Having been in the space we now call “Social Media” for over 15 years, I am trying to recall how we came to this phenomenon and why some are still questioning it. We have several hundred million people connected via Facebook and an academy award nominated film on the subject.
Why are some still in the throes of wondering whether there is a ‘there there’ with Social Media?
I remember creating a graph a few years ago so our agency could explain the evolution of social media and why SocMe, our own approach and Content Management System (CMS), might be a useful way to create a digital footprint. Looking at this old graph again, I see it may still have some merit:
© Clare Munn 2008-2011
I am sure today there is quite a lot missing from this old graph, but what I find glaringly absent is the collaboration and reputation management required to design a content strategy that involves and engages an audience. I discuss this rather frequently with my business partner, and brother, Alasdair Munn. Neither of us are avid followers of pop culture – although many in our agency are, thank goodness – but we are voracious readers and observers. We’re constantly curious of communication techniques and how to measure levels of interest by others.
With Social Media, it is easy to see a level of interest if a “Like Us” button is clicked, or if you generate a retweet, or a list is compiled on your subject. The mystery remains as to the value of the retweeter or list maker. Typically, further analysis is made by reviewing the profile of this individual, their followers, whom they are following… and so it goes on. This may all seem laboriously time consuming, but yet it really is one of the only ways to determine, with integrity, the quality or value of your audience.
Having come from a traditional publishing family, the way success was measured was a pretty basic formula:
1. The number of magazines or newspapers sold
2. The number of subscribers
3. The number of estimated readers per subscription
4. The number of advertisers
5. And the price advertisers were willing to pay per size of real estate within a magazine or newspaper
© Sonja Nuttall 2008-2011
Today, the above remains the same but we can also add transparency to that formula. It is transparency, after all, that shows the pathways to integrated marketing avenues such as social media and broadcast techniques. This is typically done through integrated campaigns and contests followed by measurement software tools.
Many have said that television, print, and radio will die. I don’t believe this at all. I believe the old ways of silo marketing has already died. It is now about integration, but only implemented once we understand the audience and their needs. This, to me, is what social media is about: the glue and the bridge(s).
So, perhaps questioning whether there is a ‘there there’ of social media, is actually questioning whether integrated marketing and measurement tactics have any merit.
I hope you find this of some use.