Joe Panettieri at MSPMentor.net had an interesting blog about Three Basic Social Media Goals for Managed Services Providers. In his post, Joe shares some of his discussion with Dell's Cloud Computing Evangelist, Barton George.
Barton's top argument about why social media matters to business is a defensive one: "You need to protect your brand. By monitoring Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and blogs (through Google Alerts), you can defend your brand, answer questions and stop misinformation about your company before it goes viral across the web." He’s definitely right about that, since social media make information and misinformation spread like wildfire. Barton's other points are more about playing offense, about getting your message out. While many don't feel social media is relevant for getting their message out, such a view is shortsighted. Eventually (and that may be 10 to 20 years away), the only information people pay attention to will be social media.
Look at how people are "cutting the cord" on their landlines, for instance. There is a mass of people, myself included, who have only a mobile phone. I cut the landline eight years ago and finally ditched the land VoIP line this year. But I have gone further and cut the allegorical "media cord" as well.
I do not watch TV, listen to the radio, read magazines or newspapers, or spend a lot of time surfing websites for information. If it’s newsworthy, the information will find me through my social network. It'll show up on my Facebook homepage or I'll read about it on LinkedIn. I don't have time for consuming a lot of traditional media anymore. I consider blogging and reading blogs to be a social media experience because blog traffic is generated through social networks, not through traditional demand generation. If you are an advertiser and you want to reach me, you'd better be advertising on LinkedIn, Facebook, Hulu or Pandora. Otherwise, you'll never reach me.
Companies that still don't understand social media are in a dangerous position, because it’s just a matter of time before everyone will cut the "media cord." Social networks are the only way that people will be able to deal with so much information flooding in from so many sources. That is why I predicted the death of email over a year ago, and I believe that even more today.
Read Panettieri's Three Basic Social Media Goals for Managed Services Providers blog on MSPMentor.net.