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social unplugged: have we gone too far?

Earthy inspiration Digital social media is incredibly powerful. But it is not the future of marketing, it is only one component (albeit an important one) in a larger discipline, right?

I'm not here to blow a whistle or to call anyone out.  But I do think that we need to take a minute and rethink rationally: are we utilizing digital social engagement strategically, or are we chasing shiny objects?

  • 1) Is the role of a brand landing page to serve as a conversational hub/social redirect?  Or is the role of the brand homepage that of digital packaging, possibly highlighting social engagement?  And towards that end, does the buzz generated by handing over a brand landing page to the community equal success? Or is it a gimmick that generates conversation? (note: this is in reference to Skittles Social and Twitter Centric redesign)
  • 2) We want our governmental representatives to listen to our concerns. But do we want them twittering to us while they should be listening to our president? Isn't this a time when they should be listening to him?  If we don't want our kids text messaging in class, why is it any different on a bigger stage?
  • 3) Social intel provides massive intelligence and in the right hands, tremendous opportunity.  Smart brands and savvy marketers are investing small fortunes on digital social intel.  But do we know the real spillover of digital conversation into the "real world"?

I thrill in the chase to rationally innovate, to serve as a change catalyst, to bring new worlds of social engagement to brands and marketers.  I believe in the power of social engagement.  I just can't help but wonder if we are in a market of irrational social exuberance, if we are chasing shiny objects and measuring our success by looking in the reflective mirror of the social fishbowl. 

If we are asking our clients/brands/teams to invest in social engagement, we owe them these answers, don't we?

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Disclaimer: the ideas presented in this post are solely my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.

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