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Does Anybody Still Think Social’s a Fad?

by Administrator Administrator on ‎01-22-2010 10:11 AM

Marshall Lager is the founder and managing principal of Third Idea Consulting, LLC.  We've hired Marshall to provide his perspective on the CRM industry, Sage news, and the state of customer/company dialogue in general.

Does Anybody Still Think Social’s a Fad?
By Marshall Lager, Third Idea Consulting, LLC


The other day, I retweeted a short Social Media Today entry by Maggie McGary about some of the major effects social media are having on our lives. In it, she cited an accurate prediction and a side-by-side strategy comparison of Massachusetts’ senatorial election result; a report on how social networking is helping to save lives in Haiti; and news articles about how major brands are altering or outright abandoning the infamous 30-second spot during the Super Bowl broadcast in favor of social marketing. Now I’m going to add some opinion (about the first two things, at least; I love Super Bowl commercials and will miss them if they fade away).

The effect of social media on politics is nothing we haven’t heard before. Bloggers were important in swaying opinions during the 2004 U.S. presidential election, and Brent Leary and David Bullock’s excellent Barack 2.0 reveals how our current President made effective use of the immediacy and intimacy of social media to win a hotly contested race. The idea that the incumbent party could lose its Senate seat—despite a long history of success combined with sympathy for a fallen statesman—smacks not only of overconfidence but of ignorance.

Social technology has made it easier than ever before to spread word when disaster strikes, and to coordinate immediate relief efforts. Where it once might have taken weeks to arrange donations of money and essentials, motivated people and groups got it done in a matter of days—sometimes hours. Time saved equals lives saved when something as devastating as the Haiti quake hits.

In both cases, the technology is an important indicator and enabler rather than a deciding factor of its own. In both cases, technology is waving a great big flag that says, “This is where the people are!” Paying attention to that flag can have tremendous positive effects, whether in terms of electorate swayed, lives saved, or just business generated. Ignoring it means being ignored in turn. Social media is changing the world, my friends. It may evolve, but it’s not dying out any time soon.

by Gold Super Contributor
on ‎01-22-2010 12:15 PM

Comment on a piece of your post.....


As a lifelong "Independent" (Unaligned) registered voter in Massachusetts...  (we make up 51% of all registered voters in MA.. along w/37% Dem.. and 12% Republican),  I can say you did not give direct credit to Scott Brown and HIS significant usage of social media to get the word out. All you stated was that the group that "failed"  was as due to overconfidence or ignorance. The whay you phrased it, it sounded like the Dems failed to use social media. Not true.. they tried. But Scot's use of it was more effective and powerful. In fact, it also was a significant factor in his fund raising (up to $1m/day) as well as getting the "majority" (Independents) on board.

by Bronze Elite Contributor
on ‎01-22-2010 12:25 PM
He may have been referring to the ignorance to the fact that social media was being used against them and they didn't pay attention.
by Gold Super Contributor
on ‎01-22-2010 12:53 PM
Mike, I'l bet that you are 1000% correct!
on ‎01-23-2010 05:52 PM

Hey, folks --


Thanks for the comments. I have to be honest, I didn't look all that carefully at the Brown campaign's effective use of social media (except the summary found in that comparison). In my defense, it's because I'm not a Massachusetts voter, and I also figured that Coakley had the seat locked up. I'm also an independent, thought I do lean in one direction most of the time. It's not fair of me to say she lost the race without pointing out that Brown won it.


RJLedger, I wish you good fortune with your new senator.

by Gold Super Contributor
on ‎01-24-2010 05:38 AM

Thanks Marshall! Not to digress to politics (too much ;-). Scott was very clear in his acceptance speech - it's not Kennedy's seat.. it's not his (Scott's) either - it's the People's seat. He's certainly a breath of fresh air. Scott was only one of 5 Republicans out of 40 members in the state senate. So Scott is definitely a "across the aisle guy. Also, we all have to give Martha credit, she really did run a strong hard campaign. There's a lot of trash talk out there (mostly by the national Dems) claiming she did not. It is total bull.


Back to the main subject... 

There's no doubt that Social is NOT a fad. If you think hard (actually it's not a hard think).. Networking is at the heart of today's social. I clearly remember when leaving the military and looking for a job. The first thing was to make a list of people that might point me in the right direction. Years later when hit by a "RIF" (Reduction In Force") my (social) network proved it's worth again. Of course it happened again (RIF) several years later and the power of a larger/better  (social) network proved it's worth yet again. When LinkedIn came along it was a very natural thing to jump on board and start hooking up.

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