Last week, Brandweek
published an article saying ad agencies "don't get" social media.
I'm all for jumping on big, dumb ad agencies. You've seen me do it right here in this blog.
But who really does get social media as an advertising channel? Even the social media owners trip up -- as Facebook did when they decided to publish details about what you buy online to your friends. I'm sure it seemed like a good idea right up until the point where it blew up.
I may be completely wrong about this -- and I'm certainly out of step with what the marketers in the Brandweek article are saying -- but I'm not convinced social media make sense as a primary advertising vehicle. To my mind, this is more aligned with the public relations function.
The marketers surveyed for this article are hoping for more than MySpace or Facebook or LinkedIn or anyone else like them can give. Here's a quote from Brandweek:
Nearly 50% of marketers said social-media efforts needed to be handled at an executive level with "significant" resources. Another 30% agreed social media is a "revolutionary opportunity."
The executive level. Wow. I suppose so . . . in the same way that customer service is handled at the executive level, since social media is all about communicating with customers and prospects. But I don't think handled is quite the right word for that.
The Internet in all its power definitely is a revolutionary opportunity. I question whether the segment called "social media" is a big opportunity for most marketers.