Does Social Media Have Any Real Value? Yep! Sure Does!


The naysayer article “Does Social Media Have Any Real Value” stimulated some thoughts. The author, John Brandon says:

“There’s a lesson here, I think. For those trying to use social networks to actually influence thinking, you have to remember that most people are only paying attention to them in a sideways glance. They see the status of friends breeze by — it’s just a notch more important to them than spam.

None of these systems are game changers. Say you’re a PR firm trying to get your product noticed. Social media helps. What actually gets the product noticed, though, is old fashioned advertising, word of mouth, and favorable reviews. It also has to be a good product.”

Inaccurate is how I would refer to the statement above. I have seen Social Media fill the following business objectives successfully:

  • Market research and business intelligence
  • Customer/partner education
  • Evolution of user groups
  • Product innovation
  • Competitive analysis
  • Peer-based support
  • Company-wide collaboration/learning solution
  • Thought leadership/leads

I can discuss these successes offline if you are interested. But I can say with absolute certainty that John Brandon has it backwards. Social Media should be the central point for building a brand in 2009- with “old fashioned advertising” in support. Then the “word of mouth, and favorable reviews” will follow.  Just look at how our President kicked off building the “US Recovery” brand today. http://www.recovery.gov


2 responses to “Does Social Media Have Any Real Value? Yep! Sure Does!

  • Shannon Paul

    I agree, John Brandon definitely missed the point. Whether Obama would have been elected without the use of social media is moot. The fact that Obama engaged in social media proved that his campaign was willing to stand behind its own message of transparency and authenticity. It was a way of putting skin in the game that showed voters the campaign was more than a collection of sound bytes, but a sincere and open effort to be engaged with ordinary citizens.

    I also find it interesting that there is no mention of the campaign’s use of social media in crisis communication with a microsite dedicated to addressing the myths and negative attacks. That effort not only helped to combat the attacks along the social web, but also received a great deal of mainstream media coverage.

    It just boggles my mind that some people are so resistant to change that they can take poo poo even the most successful social media strategies.

    Great response to this article, Derek. Thanks!

  • Brian

    Right on, Derek

    >> What actually gets the product
    >> noticed, though, is old fashioned
    >> advertising, word of mouth, and
    >> favorable reviews…”

    > Inaccurate is how I would refer to the statement above.
    > …John Brandon has it backwards

    Precisely backwards.
    social media IS advertising
    social media IS word of mouth
    social media IS reviews (good and bad and HONEST!)

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