A Social Media Bubble?

10 Jun

Is there a social media bubble?Just like when anything has a rise in popularity, those sticking to their guns on the sidelines always have to raise controversy. So now that social media is the newest and hottest form of marketing and advertising, that must mean there is a bubble? A social media bubble you say? Like the dot-com bubble, right? Wrong. I mean, everyone is entitled to their own opinions on the validity or effectiveness of using social media. Most common arguments claim you can’t measure ROI, or that social media relationships are fake, or whatever people will say to negate the power of social media. The arguments are a dime a dozen and rarely backed with any good juicy information. I also read an article about this “social media bubble” on the Harvard Business Review, stating social media is creating artificial connections. This article is to those skeptics who see no true value in social media and or claim there is a “bubble” inflating…

Now I am not trying to call out this one article in particular, it is very well written with great points. The writer may just lack further insight into social media as a whole, as most of his arguments are based on opinion.

First and foremost, the proof is in the pudding. Why would anyone pay for a social network when they can easily use one for free? People have always wanted free stuff. Whether arbitrary or not, free is free. Social media sites are free, as in you do not have to pay to sign up. Why not take advantage of it? If you can market your product or service to 100 million people for a fraction of the cost, what is the value there? Exactly…

Social media, in some fashions, yes, form superficial half-hearted relationships. Maybe it is a kid you went to high school with or the bully from 1st grade. Whoever it may be, you’re forming a connection. Granted, only a handful of your friends on social networks are people you see daily, grab drinks with our walk to school with, but who is to say connecting with a family member in Italy on Facebook is an “illusion of real relationships?” Just because we cannot physically see and interact with them does not downplay the power of a relationship, based on the principles that it is over the Internet.

Dating websites are becoming more and more popular as the years move on. Strong and powerful connections are being built between 2 people who have never met in real life, only on, you guessed it, a social networking site.

One point that I must focus on that the writer of the article mentioned was disempowerment. Granted, the article was written pre-Egyptian revolution. But from today’s perspective, if social media has the power to allow the people of a nation to organize and to over throw a government, I think there is a real power and voice given to social media users. The relationships may not hold face value, but they were certainly marked by a mutual investment during the Egyptian fiasco.

Social media is a powerful tool when used properly. Aside from being able to connect with people you may not ordinarily talk to, yes, it may raise the amount of “friends” we claim to have. But talks of the social media bubble expand far beyond just our personal networking profiles. The talks are more focused around companies using social media for marketing without gaining much ROI.

Social media campaigns for companies such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Skittles and other popular household name brands accomplished impressive feats through social media. Skittles, with their campaign to give back, holds contests and events to actively engage their Facebook following. Clothing companies have used Twitter for social media scavenger hunts, where thousands participated and were led to their brick and mortar stores. Blogs have given companies the ability to give back valuable information to their consumers. The relationship created between a brand and their consumers are real. They may not be based on emotional responses like love or hate, but it could simply be because you bought a pack of gummy bears and decided to “Like” them on Facebook.

ROI is one factor that can be measured. Depending on your budget, social media companies can offer programs that track the success of a campaign from who opens the webpage, prints a coupon and redeems it at a store, or by using coupon codes for online purchases only offered through a social media special. However, the real ROI isn’t necessarily a monetary number. If you are offering a solid product of service, it will sell itself. The only remaining factor is how many people know about this product of service. Social media is a very useful tool in making the unaware aware of your company and what it offers.

Social media is the best possible way to gain credible consumer feedback and hear what the consumer wants from the company, without listening to a board of directors who will be paid regardless of the company direction. The people have voices, and now Corporate America is listening to them. Social media is also the easiest and most cost effective way to market your product or service to a range of consumers. You can’t beat cost effective marketing. If you think social media is going anywhere, anytime soon, then ask yourself one question: why are companies continuing to spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on social media marketing campaigns if there is no true value?

2 Responses to “A Social Media Bubble?”

  1. Virtual Business Assistant June 13, 2011 at 12:20 am #

    Its good investing in Social media. Social Media platform is ideal for different uses and should therefore have a customized strategy. Due to the rapid rise in popularity and relevancy many online marketing companies now offer Social Media Marketing and strategy development services which are paramount to the success of Social Media as a viable marketing channel.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. How do we measure an emotional attachment? « People like to share - June 12, 2011

    […] A Social Media Bubble? (progressivemediaconcepts.com) […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: