An article I read last week finally articulated something crucially important, at least in my comprehension of commerce in the 21st century. Esteban Kolsky outlined three areas where companies often fail vis-à-vis social media. His points are well taken; I highly recommend taking them all seriously. But I wish to mention here just one of them.
And if you’re still clinging to 20th century rules of marketing and PR, you’re not going to like it.
Here’s the crux of Kolsky’s argument:
“Social Media is a long-term, part-of-the-core-business investment you must make. Expecting a return on that investment is naïve – like expecting your purchase of a better telephone system to return your money.”
We make far too much of data collection and ROI regarding social media. Yes, you can definitely see financial returns from your online business presence, but that result is secondary to the greater value of web communications.
For all it may seem that technology has forced new practices upon us, the greater truth is that in a global economy, enterprise thrives when it is obviously, personally attentive to its market; and the internet is the most efficient way to achieve such transparency. Social media is infrastructure, not marketing.