Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
October 21, 200810:05 PM

Why Invest In Social Media?

"When asked at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2008 whether brands should bother engaging with customers through largely unproven digital methods such as social media during the downturn, analyst Adam Sarner replied, 'This is going to be a lifeline."

This was only one of the many fascinating insights taken from the MediaBizBloggers.com posting on the Jack Myers website titled, In This Economy, Why Invest in Social Media?, by Jory Des Jardins.

Here's some more:

"It would seem that social media publishers don't have to worry; we're getting the media dollars. Epsilon's latest survey indicates that Blue-Chip company CMOs are shifting dollars from traditional media (print, TV) to digital, interactive formats. And, Jack Myers predicts that even within digital, the more 'traditional' forms (banner ads) will slump compared to online video, widgets, and social networks, on which spending next year will increase by 70 percent. The more accountable the media, and the more targeted, the better. While there has yet to be found a magic formula for measuring the effectiveness of blogs and social networks beyond the clickthrough, there are metrics such as comment volume and inbound links that speak to the relevance of any publisher who may tout your brand.

In the immediate term, ads and online sponsorship validate bloggers' online addiction and defray our expenses. But it also invokes a halo effect around your brand in the Blogosphere. Bloggers in our network have thanked, even blogged about, our advertisers for helping them cover groceries, or even just their monthly hosting fees. This recognition is the stuff that sparks relationships for life."

It sounds like we're back to the relationship over the immediate sale.

Then, Wired Magazine features this article from Paul Boutin (a correspondent for the Silicon Valley gossip site, Valleywag) titled, Twitter, Flickr, Facebook Make Blogs Look So 2004.

"Thinking about launching your own blog? Here's some friendly advice: Don't. And if you've already got one, pull the plug... Writing a weblog today isn't the bright idea it was four years ago. The blogosphere, once a freshwater oasis of folksy self-expression and clever thought, has been flooded by a tsunami of paid bilge. Cut-rate journalists and underground marketing campaigns now drown out the authentic voices of amateur wordsmiths. It's almost impossible to get noticed, except by hecklers. And why bother? The time it takes to craft sharp, witty blog prose is better spent expressing yourself on Flickr, Facebook, or Twitter... Impersonal is correct: Scroll down Technorati's list of the top 100 blogs and you'll find personal sites have been shoved aside by professional ones. Most are essentially online magazines: The Huffington Post. Engadget. TreeHugger. A stand-alone commentator can't keep up with a team of pro writers cranking out up to 30 posts a day."

Sounds a little (or a lot) like my Blog posting from yesterday? The New Secret To Blogging Success - Moving From "I" To "You" (only Blogging - in my humble estimation - is still awesome and critical).

Hugh McGuire (form LibriVox) sums it up with a unique perspective and interesting take on his personal Blog: Taking the Linkbait about Blogging, where he says: "Don’t blog to get known, blog to be knowable."

What a great (and different) perspective. He goes on to say:

"if I am evaluating someone as a potential business partner, client, service provider, etc, I want to be able to trust them. There are a few ways of trusting someone: knowing them, getting a good recommendation about them, or knowing about them.

When I am researching a person, a company, a product, I want to be able to go somewhere like a blog to poke around, read up on their thinking and opinions, a place where I can get to know them, what interests them, what they are like. No other platform - not facebook, twitter or anywhere else - comes close to a blog for giving me immediate comfort about & trust in someone I know nothing about."

What do you have to say about all of this?

By Mitch Joel


Comments Comments Feed
  • Posted by Michelle Blanc
    Mitch Joel

    I'm still waiting for the business case that will prove beyond a doubt that Twitter, Flickr or Facebook are mre effective in terms of SEO, visibility or sales, compared to a well crafted business blog. It is very good to invest in social media but the blog is still the king of them all. Unless proven otherwise, which has not been provn yet. To my knowledge...

    Reply
  • Mitch Joel

    I have a blog which I started back in June of this year. I don't post very often, once every couple of weeks. When I do post, it is not with the hope that I will suddenly attract thousands of readers (I think to date I have about 35 unique visitors to my site according to Google analytics). Rather, I blog something that I'm thinking about with the hope that IF anyone else does read it, they can see a little bit of my perspective.

    I love the quote provided "Blog to be knowable." That really says it all.

    As far as the other channels, I think they are also fantastic tools and can be a lot of fun as well as a wealth of information for most businesses. While it certainly doesn't make sense for every company to jump in to Twitter and start talking, it definitely makes sense for every company to know if there is anything being said about them in that channel.

    Similarly with other media, check them all out and decide where to go based on what seems like the best fit. It's not just about SEO, there may be great opportunities to simply have a conversation with 1 customer and that may be worth the effort.

    Reply
  • Posted by Bernie Goldbach
    Mitch Joel

    I agree that investing in social media connections will give a liveline to companies trying to ride out a down market. People tend to buy product from those who relate to them.

    Reply
  • Posted by Nicky
    Nicky

    I can't believe I'm here commenting again (!) on your BLOG, Mitch!

    I'd say, "Blog to be knowable, to be known and to know."
    Twitter has it plus points (several) but it doesn't come close. As for this
    "The time it takes to craft sharp, witty blog prose is better spent expressing yourself on Flickr, Facebook, or Twitter..."
    I am on Flickr, Facebook and Twitter, er "expressing myself" and I completely disagree. There are different forms of expression and these tools cater to different forms. Now, I wonder how many tweets would it take me to comment..?

    Reply
  • Posted by Amod Munga
    Mitch Joel

    I read the article in question regarding the death of blogging. What strikes me as strange is that even after all this time, people (like the journalist) seem not to realise that blogs, Twitter, Flickr and Facebook are all part of a marketing symbiosis.

    These channels co-exist with one another to create one mega-channel. They're like Lego pieces. You need them all to create a finished product. And they're consumed like M&M's. Some people like a variety but others like Ozzy only like the green ones (obscure Wayne's World 2 reference). It's social marketing 101.

    I agree that there's a mass of worthless content out there, but as long as people can choose where and what they want to consume, the natural selection of what survives in the long run will weed these guys out.

    To call blogging dead is to be short-sighted and to underestimate the insight of the consumer.

    Reply
  • Posted by Adam
    Adam

    I don't see blogs as dying or dead. I mean, I don't really read too many, but to me, the blog really always has been about your own opinions and thoughts, and I really touch base with what Hugh McGuire said.

    While platforms like twitter, flickr and facebook, make the internet a more social place, they're not a great medium for someone to express their own ideas and for others who have interest to comment.

    Reply
  • Posted by Adam Singer
    Mitch Joel

    please...everyone who says "blogs are dated" i cant take seriously

    so newspapers as a medium runs for what, 100 years but blogs are dead in 4? that makes sense.

    go look at how much influence marketing has over traditional media. is traditional media dead? well, it's not doing well but NOT for those reasons...

    blogs are doing just fine, let that guy have twitter and facebook imo.

    Reply
  • Posted by Maureen Streett
    Maureen Streett

    Great post - and many valid opinions. I appreciate everything about Social Media, and think the possibilities - though not for every company - are endless for those that do it right.

    You can't just jump onto the social bandwagon, but it's true that interesting, USEFUL content will get recognized and appreciated.

    Social Media can give a company a great deal of personality, and credibility.

    Reply
  • Posted by Seovice
    Mitch Joel

    I've been experimenting with my blog for a long time, most recently by incorporating video only. I find that moving away from text and using other methods of offering content helps keep it fresh and inviting.

    It's funny, those that say blogs are dead are the same people that inspired us to start writing, I've been a fan of Robert Scoble for a long time, I don't see his blog slowing down. The bottom line is, find a niche your an expert in and build on it.

    Reply
  • Posted by Visitor1
    Visitor1

    Very nice... love the design.

    Reply
  • Mr. Boutin seems to be forgetting about a few marketing basics. Without my Internet marketing blog, I would only be getting half the traffic I am getting at the moment. Not only that but I would be wasting a lot of marketing and business opportunities.

    Reply
  • Posted by frank
    Mitch Joel


    Maybe the better way to think about all this is ...

    Blogging is 2004 so you should be learning how to use the new tools of today (if you're not already using them successfully), but you should not give up on blogging.


    --
    http://twitter.com/franswaa

    Reply
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