In building the program for xPotomac (February 25th), I sought to address a sea change in media evolution. That change spells the end for the social PR revolution, a marketing movement embodied by brand-led conversations over the past seven years.
We are currently experiencing a throttling of branded, online grassroots power. Specifically, it’s becoming harder and harder for marketers to be seen with branded earned media and social updates.
Other signs evidence this change, too. Social search and stronger policing of black hat SEO by Google has put a premium on paid search again. Facebook’s use of Edgerank to force companies and individuals alike to pay for attention is another harbinger of this fate.
The rise of big data and the forthcoming wearable computing revolution — themes that run throughout xPotomac — will cause a further throttling of online grassroots pipes.
A recent Forrester report stated paid search matters most for new customers, email matters most for repeat customers, and social tactics are not meaningful sales drivers. Correlating this data, ExactTarget surveyed more than 700 consumers (ages 15+) in its 2012 Channel Preferences study, and 77% responded that email was preferred over social media for communications for promotion offers.
Opt-in email and click throughs driven by paid search represent private acts of engagement that occur deeper in an online sales cycle.
While the linear sales cycle has been disrupted by online media in the past ten years, buying still represents a process.
When you see a strong, social visual interface like Pinterest or Instagram, or even the revitalized Facebook and YouTube interfaces, you realize how far social search has to come. Search engines are generally not visual, don’t port well for sharing to networks, and are closed to commenting.
I wrote the introduction to the eBook, which features experts debating the myths they see, and their version of social media truths. Reading it revealed a few truths to me, too. The following is a version of my introduction to The Naked Truth…
First (and my myth buster), rules offered by social media experts don’t mean much unless you want to be a second tier version of this person (or business).
Even some of the opinions in the eBook offered starkly contrasting views.