What social media can and can’t do.

A couple of days ago, Adverstising Age publised an article by B.L.Ochman on Ten Things Social Media Can’t Do. The article is excellent and worth reading, but these are the things that social media can’t do:

  1. Substitute for marketing strategy.
  2. Succeed without top management buy-in.
  3. Be viewed as a short-term project.
  4. Produce meaningful, measurable results quickly.
  5. Be done in-house by the vast majority of companies.
  6. Provide a quick fix to the bottom line or a tarnished reputation.
  7. Be done without a realistic budget.
  8. Guarantee sales or influence.
  9. Be done by "kids" who "understand social innately"
  10. Replace PR.

Today Mark Evans countered with a list of nine things that social media can do:

  1. Improve customer service
  2. Build stronger relationships with existing customers
  3. Attract new customers
  4. Generate feedback/ideas on how to improve existing products and services, and inspire new products and services
  5. Build and enhance your brand
  6. Connect with industry peers
  7. Communicate with employees, suppliers and investors
  8. Do research
  9. Do good

Both articles are excellent; I’ve merely listed the lists but you should read the reasoning.

There is one item from B.L. Ochman’s list that I question, that of social media requiring a realistic budget. Not every social media strategy requires a website to be designed. The use of blogs, Facebook, or Twitter can be tested without investing in a new site design. However, a long term strategy may require changes.

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