Obviously, as a regular blogger, I think social media are the cat's meow. However, when I use social media, I don't lapse into that blissed-out state that cats enjoy when they bust open a jar of catnip. Your experience may be different:
If you believe that Twitter is of net-benefit for the world, and only someone who hasn't used it much would say otherwise, then what's good for Twitter is good for the rest of us, too. Costolo's adventures with the last world-changing messaging system he [led] may have worked out better for himself than for the rest of us in the long run, but his work at Twitter so far has been key at building staying power for this new, more accessible way for people around the world to speak with each other.
That's the concluding paragraph from a ReadWriteWeb story about Twitter's new CEO. It's just the sort of gushy, overblown statement that plays well in the pocket universe of people with a vested interested in social media using social media to sign hosannas on the highest about social media. Outside the pocket universe, it's just the sort of hyperbolic prose that makes people who are on the fence about Twitter, who don't necessarily see it as good for the rest of us, nervous that anything sold that hard must not be as good as advertised. For people who still look at their email inbox with despair, Twitter may be one more channel of communication that they don't need.
Social media may be the biggest agency land grab ever. Interactive agencies, PR agencies, creative agencies, media agencies, direct agencies, and even specialty search, mobile, and obviously social are getting into the game. Of course this is driven by client demand. The massive adoption of social technologies has driven many marketers to rethink their approach while moving at least experimental dollars and resources toward social media. And given how fast things move today, they often look to their agency partners for advice, education, and execution. Over the past year we’ve had a lot of questions from marketers seeking a “social media agency of record” to manage all social media marketing activity. My response to this has been straightforward: Don’t do it.
Something amazing has happened to social media in the past couple of years: Overall adoption of social technologies has effectively reached saturation. We're now at the point where more than 80% of US online users engage with social media - and although there's been some hand-wringing over the fact social media adoption has plateaued at that level, let's keep things in perspective: 80% engage with social media! That's as many people as own a DVD player or use SMS.
This kind of scale gives marketers the potential to generate reach through social media. Sure, it's a new and unfamiliar kind of reach for many marketers - rather than just shouting uniform messages at millions of people, they must engage directly with their audiences and then hope those audiences turn around and talk to and influence millions more users. But as we've proven, this new model of reach can also provide the same kind of massive scale that the old reach models did: Just a tiny handful of Mass Connectors will create 256 billion influence impressions in the US this year.
I promise that at some point I'll use this blog to write about more than M&A in the social media technology space. But the constantly shifting vendor landscape keeps me too busy to get to other pressing topics.
Today, Maritz Reserch announced its acquisition of evolve24. Through this move, Martiz adds strong social media analysis capabilities to its broader customer experience and market research offerings. The two have a long-standing partnership and know how to work well together and combine forces. The terms of the acquisition suggest that evolve24 will stay strongly intact as an offering within the Maritz umbrella.
I reviewed evolve24 as part of my recent Forrester Wave™ evaluation of listening platforms and cited the vendor as offering strong data analysis capabilities — something that surely stood out for Maritz. To rely on social media as a data source, Maritz must have an exepctionally clean stream — a critical focus for evolve24. Firms aiming to understand their customers' experiences require a broad data set, but without quality, breadth is worthless.
In many ways, The Social Network is as much about Facebook as Titanic is about the White Star Line. Certain aspects of the film’s fact-based but fictionalized plot may reflect badly on Facebook in a vague sort of way, but as with any great movie (and The Social Network is a great movie), the viewer is swept up in the human emotion of the story. In a world filled with real-life cautionary social media horror stories of people losing their jobs, their marriages or their lives, the tale of how a few geeks and freaks got caught up in an entrepreneurial frenzy, cheated each other, and destroyed their friendships is hardly an indictment of Facebook.