Social Media has revolutionized our concept of direct marketing by faciliating the "one-to-one" value that direct mail and other more traditional channels provide to becoming more of a 'conversation.' So instead of simply presenting an offer through, say, direct mail and then waiting for the BRE to return with a check. We now have to present the offer, then respond to a question by the prospect which we need to respond to, which may lead to an observation by the prospect which we need to respond to, which may lead to another question or two by the prospet which we need to respond to, which hopefully will ultimately lead to a purchase.
WOW! What was once a very easy tactical initiative to drive sales with an easily calculated ROI, has now become the proverbial Kraken.
While this is ONLY ONE aspect of Social Media also consider the simple fact that the whole channel is continually changing. What was a good idea yesterday, will become 'old hat' by tomorrow. What is hot today will become so 'last year' in a matter of days.
To me, this is almost like skeet shooting in a cross wind.
The good side is we are an adaptable race. As we become more educated and more comfortable with using Social Media we'll more easily encorporate it into our campaigns and life will go on.
For now, however, if your job includes the monitoring, management and/or promotion of a company's brand through social media, you may want to consider educating yourself about and participating in all the platforms that might matter to your membership organization. The following are my personal recommendations for the average social media marketer to consider, grouped by users:
100 Million+ Users
•MySpace (though they're fading)
25 Million+ Users
10 Million+ Users