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Social Media

“Is Social Media all about the Marketing and PR?”

I think I should start with comparing a number of definitions on what exactly social media is before we venture any further:

Definitions of Social media on the Web:

A lot of differing opinions on what exactly is the definition of social media is – I liked what Ted McConnell from Procter & Gamble Co marketing’s take on social media is:

“I think when we call it ‘consumer-generated media,’ we’re being predatory,” he said. “Who said this is media? Media is something you can buy and sell. Media contains inventory. Media contains blank spaces. Consumers weren’t trying to generate media. They were trying to talk to somebody. So it just seems a bit arrogant. … We hijack their own conversations, their own thoughts and feelings, and try to monetize it.”

“You can do really amazing things. But I’m not so sure I want to be targeted like that. … I don’t think everything every consumer says to someone else and writes down is somehow monetizable by the media industry.”

For me, Social Media is a series of platforms for interaction and networking, a combination of tools that allow users to interact, share knowledge and engage with one another.

So is Social Media all about the Marketing & PR?

Well I certainly don’t think so – while marketing & pr is used extensively in social media, the essence of social media is not about advertising at all.

In my recent research into social media return and revenue analysis, which I term the Social Media Value Factor, I found that just like all advertising based initiatives – there is a bit of a disconnect between the advertising world and social media.

Big brands are pushed into thinking that social media is all about the next big campaign and providing “value” through theses campaigns “engaging with you users” through these campaigns – there is no long term value in this.

If you really want to engage with your users then engage – give them something a bit more valuable than another well crafted ad or pr campaign. The brand recognition and brand equity will come naturally if you communicate naturally.

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