Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Making Sense Of The Ever-Changing Social Media Landscape

Making Sense Of The Ever-Changing Social Media Landscape
by: Dennis Shiao of InXpo

Social Media Landscape by Ivan Walsh via flickr

In the early days (e.g. 2003 through 2007), social media was Missouri — in a “show me state”.  As Director of Marketing or CMO, your biggest challenge was not how to leverage social media – but rather, how to justify it to the CFO and CEO.  Return On Investment (ROI) metrics had not yet been established, so you had to “make it up” on the go – and then convince stakeholders that the metrics were valid.  In fact, you probably had to first educate stakeholders on what social media was and how it could benefit your company.
Here we are in 2009 and the world has shifted.  Social media and social networking sites are as much a household name as the “Big 3″ television networks were back in the 1960’s.  Today’s networks include YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.  The C-suite has read numerous accounts of social media driving real business value (ROI) – and they’re seeing the competition active in social networks.  So now the tables have turned – the CEO is now in pursuit of the CMO to ask questions like, “what is our social media strategy” and “why aren’t we doing more of it”?

Social media is an ever-changing landscape – and that’s a good thing, as it reflects the fluid and dynamic nature of the associated technologies and communities.  As a marketer, though, it means that you need to stay on your toes to best judge how to adapt to the changing landscape.  How quickly do things change?  Well, let’s consider the developments of the past few months:


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