Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Social Media and its effect on brands

Social networks have always been existing, naturally also before the digital era. They were shaped by our friends, families, neighbours, sports clubs and so on. Word of mouth, the recommendation by a member of our social networks, has as well been existing, and was always the most respected and trusted way of communication. So what has changed, then?

The first thing which changed was technology. The paradigm shift we are experiencing right now is enabled by technology. But the dynamics and the dimension the shift reached is cultural. This is how it goes:

Our social networks have started to be digitalized recently, and the process gets faster and deeper every day with an ever growing amount and speed. I am talking about the large number of social platforms and the trend to get everything, anytime. Real time.

The digitalization of our social networks has turned them into a media. Or to be precise: They have always been a media. One to one. But now they are the new mass media. Many to many. From now on everything has to be true and real. That’s why the shift is a great thing for humanity. It’s hard for brands. But they will learn and evolve. Some on the hard way. Game over, old mass media.

In a nutshell:
The digitalization of our social networks has transformed them in the most powerful mass media. The other thing to remember: Everything is a media. Everything communicates. In this context I can also recommend some classics from Marshall McLuhan, although its heavy stuff.


Anonymous said...

It is very interesting for me to read that post. Thanks for it. I like such topics and anything connected to this matter. I definitely want to read more soon.

hoomdo said...

but, I believe digitalization of Social networking has taken away from its effectiveness as a marketing tool. no orkut, facebook, twitter can be as effective as good old "word of mouth". as correctly pointed out by Mr.Wacker, digital socialising puts an onus on passing on only the truth! this in itself restricts gossip ... which takes away from creativity in Social marketing!

Tobias Wacker said...

hoomdo, I believe that that social networks are the biggest word-of-mouth amplifier ever. Might be that it takes a bit away from the authenticity of the good old word-of-mouth, but the scale it got now makes it more easy usable as mass communication tool. Anyhow, we can see that many approaches in social media are a fail, which indicates that we have to execute carefully and with common sense.

Lindsay said...

"technology giveth and taketh away" as my communication professor once said