I have noticed an uptick in some of the marketing forums I review, where debates about defining social media are taking main-stage. What’s interesting is how long we seem to have been talking about this “new trend”, although I would propose that this does not really qualify as a “trend” any longer; it’s part of our daily experience.
Consider it was only a few decades (and several questionable fashion trends) ago that there was no such thing as TV advertising. Today, TV advertising is not discussed as separate from marketing, it is discussed and evaluated, (along with all other promotional options), as one part in the potential marketing mix for a client. It seems time to make social media more like that.
Rather than create entire plans around only social media, or talk about it as an add-on, it would seem more beneficial to clients if we simply treat social media as one more marketing tool, evaluated for how it can help the client along with every other marketing tactic. Social media, broadcast tv and cable advertising, radio, outdoor, direct mail, e-blasts, websites, blogs, tweets, facebook, interactive, display – the list grows, the opportunities increase. The challenge is selecting what works best for clients, not just relying on the latest trend, which in the end, may very well be the right tool.