Friday, 18 September 2009
Has Social Media Ever Changed Business Strategy?
I'm presently in a Social Media - So What? zone We're told that everybody's doing it and that if you're not doing it you seriously ought to consider doing it.
If you need to know the best way to do it then Scott Monty shows how the 'social-media book' industry has swung into overdrive to bombard us with the wisdom of gurus.
Not only that there are gurus telling us which gurus are the most guru-like. I guess this could be called Gurullia Marketing.
Authors and social media I get, Journalism and social media I get, knowledge collaboration I get, but where is the evidence of the direct influence of social media on the way organisations produce products and serve their customers?
Go on. Google it, google anything to do with the impact of Social Media on business strategy and you'll find nothing. You'll find lots about how its the 'new marketing paradigm'(puke), lot's about how to craft the right social media strategy itself, lots about how fantastic it is to listen in conversation and narratives and even...now hold onto your multi-media phones folks...'speak to other human beings!'.
But So What What happens with the accolades and the complaints? what happens with the deep semantic analysis of positive and negative sentiment. Where does it all go? What impact does it have? what changes are made as result?
No one can tell you. Check out academic journals too, there's nothing there!. Not a jot.
Millions of people are blogging and interacting and telling each other 'what' they do with their social media budgets. The really smart people simply spend their time advising others 'what' they should do with their social media budgets. The tools might have changed but has the nature of getting the business job done changed in any substantive sense at all?
Reporting hits, twits, and bits of info is simply that...a description of what 'is'. Where is the sense-making, where are the implications? Are there any implications? What, if anything, are people doing with all of this conversational data?
No one it seems can explain 'how' social media is changing what businesses do in any strategic sense. Have they got smarter? Have they got faster? Have they got smaller? Have they got bigger? Have they become more effective in any way shape or form?
Perhaps Social Media is simply that great big coffee machine in 'the cloud'. A place to idly pass the time chatting with others in an unproductive way at some other guy's expense.
Amber Naslund of Altitude Branding take a look at who controls who.