I love the Social Media space; and I am as passionate as the best of them… but it is very interesting to me to see how we tend to get stuck in conversations of what is or is not Social Media that simply reflect the fact that we have different (and valid) perspectives on the same idea…
Allow me to illustrate.. (and BTW; by no means I think this is a comprehensive list):
You can think about social Media as an opportunity to hyper target your advertisement message; nothing wrong with that… The tools that the likes of Facebook, YouTube and others are offering today are amazing and improving at a fast pace.
You can think about Social Media as an opportunity to present your consumers with valuable “content” and “tools” (in the broadest understanding of the term) and through those leverage their social networks to propagate your message and/or awareness of your brand i.e. a nifty tool to help people learn about last minute deals and enable them to share these with their friends and family; conveniently branded as x and created in such a way that your actions on it are properly reflected in your social graph (i.e. Facebook Newsfeed).. this is great too.. an example (with no commentary or implications about my political preferences): Obama’s application
Then you can think about Social Media as an opportunity to support, engage, be associated with something your consumers want to achieve/care about (and in the process present your brand/services in a relevant context); for example Bank of America Small Business Online Community.
Then you can think about Social Media as an opportunity to identify, engage and interact with those influencer consumers that seem to be able to affect and represent) the opinions of many others; a great way to co-create and validate ideas before you actually invest on them. I say the Microsoft MVP program is a great example of this one..
You can then think about Social Media as a way to become transparent and approachable to/for your consumer; willing to present to them your ideas and challenges and ready to take on their comments and perceptions of those. For example Barry Judge (Best Buy CMO) blog..
So let’s agree that this is a very ample space; and its applications very broad! IMHO It is all about what your business objectives are and, just as important, what your consumers objectives & desires are.. and then finding the best way to apply Social Media to satisfy both of those (which can be one or many of the above, or many others)
What do you think?