Businesses have clearly turned the corner in their adoption of social platforms, but the rush to join the party indicates that they may be reverting to the mass-market mentality that social marketing explicitly rejects.
Online media have flipped this equation. Success is now defined by the ability to establish meaningful conversations about very specific topics.
Quality displaces quantity, and relationships replace messages.
A lot of marketers are having a hard time grasping this because they spent so many years doing the opposite. They see new channels as a way to build another mass audience for the same old messages. They wear their Twitter follower count as a badge of honor. They are missing the point.
Social media are called social for a reason. They are a means to create relationships between individuals.
Here in Winnipeg, the first city specific social media network website is in beta, official launch we are told is May 1st 2010. with Cash Prizes, iPhones and VIP Vegas Trips being given away. check it out www.winnipeggers.ca
The new challenge for b-to-b marketers will be to exploit the potential of social media to create connections between all their employees and all their constituents.
This will present enormous governance issues as we begin to “media-train” entire companies instead of just a few individuals. That’s a topic for the future.
For now, the challenge is to discard the old economics of mass and embrace the value of one-to-one.