Is Social Media Dying?

This post originally appeared on my friend Gini Dietrich‘s blog, Spin Sucks on June 22.  Just thought I’d share it here as well.  You may also want to check out the rebuttal from Jelena Woehr and decide for yourself what side of the question you’re on.  Let me know in the comments below!

I recently read a blog post from Justin Kistner (through SocialFresh) where he theorizes that “social media” will reach its peak by 2012. If social media is dying how can organizations set themselves up for success in this continuously growing and evolving area?

We’ve all read blogs or articles that say “90 percent of social media is just showing up” and we likely know that success in this space can only happen if leadership embraces the strategy and is willing to invest in it. A good friend of mine, Bryan Willmert, gives an example in a post where references Ford is investing 25 percent of its marketing budget in the social web.

He also gives five thoughts on how companies can embrace the social web:

  1. Allocate budget to hire a “Social Media Guru”.
  2. Find the right person for the job (leverage social tools such as LinkedIn or Twitter to find that person).
  3. Work one-on-one with your “Social Media Guru” so they know how to market you (no one knows your business better than you do).
  4. Let them run with it and teach you along the way so you understand where your investment is going and what is coming back.
  5. Keep an open mind and don’t hang on to the ways that you always have done things.

In my perfect world, I’d structure the organization to have a Community Manager who manages a department responsible for the social web and new technologies. (Note: I’m coming from the perspective of a large corporation and this may not apply to smaller companies.)

The people in this role have a working and personal knowledge of how to leverage tools such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Foursquare, and CitizenTube for business growth. They use the tools daily and have first-hand experience. They become a knowledge center for the company to educate other departments (c-suite, sales, marketing, customer service, HR, advertising, and PR) on how to best leverage for their area of expertise.

I’ve seen too many examples of companies that “sort of” jump in, because of the pact mentality, and add “social media” to someone’s already full plate.

Now…will this organization exist in 2012 where Kistner’s theory says social media will reach its peak? It may not in its proposed form. The social web, Web 2.0, or “new media” will continue to evolve, but it will be part of how companies are run, no matter what it’s called.

Are you and your organization prepared to evolve with this shift in how we get our information and communicate? Or will you just “sort of” get it?

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“I don’t get Twitter!”

“I don’t understand Twitter?”

“I don’t care what people had for dinner!”

“What is the value of social media?”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard these statements made to me when talking about social networking tools and their value.  Well I’m here to give you 2 real life examples of how being active with social tools like Twitter have benefited me.

The first example is Gini Dietrich.  I’ve referred to Gini in prior posts but she is worth mentioning again because I think that highly of her.  She is the author of SpinSucks.com and chief executive officer of Arment Dietrich, Inc., a firm that uses non-traditional marketing in a digital world.  She and I were introduced through Twitter and have developed a great friendship and mutual respect for each others talents.  It also helps that we have the similar beliefs on why social networking tools need to become such a vital part of B2B and B2C companies.  The neatest thing about this was that I met her face to face for the first time today at a conference she was speaking at about social media.  What I learned about her through Twitter and Facebook was confirmed after meeting her in person…she’s smart, talented and if you are fortunate enough to know her, you’re lucky.

The second example is Bryan Willmert.  Bryan is the author of Soul Excursion, his personal blog where he says he “loves to dream big.”  He and I first started talking on Twitter but it was soon after that we met face to face.  He is the Service Director at my church, Kensington Community Church.  After talking briefly, I knew there was something about him that I liked.  We have different backgrounds but one particular thing in common…a passion for all things social media.  He “gets it” and why it needs to be a part of any communication to consumers today.  He and I have become pretty good friends and I’m very blessed to know him.

So there are my examples.  They don’t have anything to do with profits or ROI.  They deal with the true value of social networks…people and building relationships.

What are your thoughts?  Do you have any examples of how Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn has benefited you?

It’s all about relationships…

Over the last couple of days, I’ve been thinking a lot about social media.  What is it?  It’s all about relationships.  By definition, social means “tending to form cooperative and interdependent relationships with others.”  Cooperative and interdependent relationships.  It’s pretty simple when you think about it.


So why should businesses engage in social media?  They should because tools like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. provide an avenue to get real time feedback from the people that ultimately use your product.  The landscape for marketing is rapidly changing and these social media tools allow companies to change along with it.


Social Media allows consumers to interact with your Brand.  Companies should not be afraid to leverage the technology.  If you analyze the “why to use” too much instead of the “how to use”, you get left behind.  This changes every day and if you’re just getting started, you don’t have time to analyze it.  Develop your objectives and learn as you go.  Look at the Six Social Media Trends for 2010.  If you’re just getting started, you’ll have a lot more to learn because it just keeps growing and more technologies are developed.


As I was contemplating my thoughts on this, I read a blog post from Gini Dietrich titled Social Media Philosophy.  She defines it perfectly.  I couldn’t have written it better myself and got a laugh when I saw this come up because I had every intention of writing something similar!  She asks readers to do 2 things: listen to what people are saying and think about social media as a 24/7 network.


Social Media is two way communication.  Give consumers an opportunity to engage.  Show them a human side to the company and perceptions will change.


James 1:19 “…Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak…”