Social Media Isn't Just Media
Larry Friedman, chief research officer at TNS North America, writes that marketers who focus on eyeballs with the social media programs are missing the point. "Too many marketers still don't get what is different about social media," he writes. "There are two words in 'social media,' but too many people are hearing just the 'media' half."
He says the in the non-social media world the audience is essentially passive, and willing to accept ads as the price of content, but "in the social world, there is no audience; it is people talking to each other… It is inherently active," he says, adding that, because of the lack of control in the social world, the idea of getting the message out is a flawed notion.
Friedman says 60% of U.S. consumers who use social networks say that they are a place where they don't want to be bothered by companies or organizations. At the same time, 45% say that social networks are a good place to find out about brands -- but 50% say that even a single negative review on a social-media site can affect their brand decisions. "And most people who join brand communities will do so for mercenary reasons (65% say they do so to get coupons), but many also do so to express their passion for a brand (45%)."