Is #SocialMedia a consumer haven or a #marketing channel?

adage digital facebook articleWhile reading an #AdAge article today, it dawned on me… we have yet to see how social will really play in the marketing mix. The article – “Facebook Warns Brands that Scale in Social Won’t Come For Free” – explains Facebook’s position that marketers are going to need to increase their expectations of cost when it comes to reaching the large audiences they’ve amassed. Here’s a provocative question, do consumers agree to the value exchange? Do they believe in giving up their personal information and being exposed to ad impressions? Sure, they agree to terms and conditions, but do they reciprocate that interest by clicking, buying and advocating the advertisements?

My prediction… the game has hardly started, we don’t yet know the players and it’s too early to calculate the final answer… but todays’ consumer will win.

My humble opinion… social media sites are perceived differently than other consumer tools and destinations. It’s a very personal experience that will prove to result in strained relationships as technologist and marketers attempt to monetize. Consumers add content, share it with others and increase their networks… for themselves. Intervention by external forces who attempt to shift the value equation for the consumer, from participation to monetization, will result in flight to the next “cool” thing. Search engines, blogs, portals and commerce sites have familiar business models and rather predictable consumer interaction and reception. I don’t purport to speak for all consumers but it seems to me that the familial, personal interaction with social sites serves a vastly different purpose on the part of the consumer.

I’m just say’n… but do mark this date on your calendar:-)


3 Responses to Is #SocialMedia a consumer haven or a #marketing channel?

  1. Mark Ogne says:

    I just read another AdAge article that appears to emphasize my point above… social media is a personal relationship between individuals and their close friends and family.

    How Content Is Really Shared: Close Friends, Not ‘Influencers’

    “There is little data to support so-called influencer behavior in social marketing. Rather, the data suggest that content and ideas online spread through large numbers of people sharing with small groups.”

  2. Mark Ogne says:

    A great quote from a Forbes article this weekend… “if you’re not paying for the service, you’re the product.”

    The article should have been broken into several pieces, there were a lot of nuggets to chew on. However, the point above is directly tied to this blog post… it goes to the value exchange and consumers ability to understand it. I believe FB has done great things, but I also believe that the scrutiny of being public will cause them to continue moving the privacy bar away from consumers and towards advertisers as they attempt to increasing monetization of a network that will not grow as fast.

    Consumers ARE the product for social media networks… they just don’t realize it yet.

  3. […] a blog entry last March, Is Social Media a Consumer Haven or Marketing Channel?, I discussed the disconnect in value exchange between social properties and their consumers. I […]

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