the social media effect - part 3: tying it all together

May 21, 2009 ·

in part 1 and part 2, i purposely looked at interruptive/disruptive media (i/d) and social media separately. the point being for this third part to tie them together and arrive at how the two work synchronously. not how one will displace the other or how shortcomings are the detriment of using. as i hope to have established already, the two serve different purposes, and both are important for marketing success and will continue to be.

the old question (numbers vary) of what would you rather have, 1 million low engagement impressions or 1,000 high engagement interactions? isn't valid anymore. never was, really. there's no trade-off, you can have both. you should have both.

if social media is inhabited by interest, then it is i/d media that generates that initial interest. realistically, no one is going to find your place or seek it out in the social space unless they know of your brand, company or campaign. how will they know to go and engage if they don't know who you are or what you're doing? social media's success and growth needs i/d media.

this not only goes for getting new people into our communities, but also to bring them back. the i/d media informs consumers as to what to talk about, where to talk and when to talk. obviously social media does this job too, arguably better, only to a smaller set.

let's face it, not everyone goes to a brand website, not everyone goes to our social destinations and not everyone wants to actively participate. we still need to expose consumers to our brand and i/d media accomplishes that. yes, it is a somewhat shallow exposure, no denying that. so enters social media. i/d media does well to expose and social does exceptionally well to solidify the relationship and maximize what we get out of consumers.

there's always new market share to be had, and the tandem approach of i/d and social media is the recipe for success. not one or the other, we need to let them know our brand or company should be considered through i/d media and then use the social tools to seal the deal.

so that's my view. a holistic one where all channels are used in conjunction with one another. my goal was to stop the discussions about social media taking over the world and killing other media. that's just not the case. it's a game changer to be sure and a space i'm a huge proponent of. but i'm also tasked to see the bigger picture and every other tool at our disposal. sometimes we can be a little to narrow viewed and jump to too many conclusions.

so this isn't an admonishment of social media or making it out to be weak. on the contrary. it's to clearly show it's strengths and the role it can play in the whole of the plan. same for i/d media. it has its strengths and faults. it's how each makes up for where the other lacks.

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