Social Media in 2012: You’d Better Start Swimming

In the past few years, so much has changed for social media that little of our quaint old landscape remains at all anymore – at least, not as it once was.

Now it’s spread to encompass much, MUCH more than a few social networks. Social media affects every corner of the media landscape – traditional press outlets just as much as blogs.

Spilling Over

And that’s only a small piece of the social explosion – tech companies, web, mobile and app developers, be forewarned. The new generation of consumers is not nearly as interested in new technologies as the last. Forget confusing, varied user interfaces – there is no learning curve for platforms and programs today’s consumer already knows. Free social services with unlimited content, like for a case-in-point example, YouTube…

Teens today would rather use YouTube for music discovery than apps like Pandora or Spotify – even more than the almighty iTunes itself.

It’s all traced straight back to social media and the implications go on for days… If you don’t understand how teens (and other mainstream consumer demographics) are using social media, then you will have a hard time succeeding in web-based business at all anymore. Why? Because it’s no longer just a matter of reaching – or even engaging – fans in social media.

The whole social industry has forced its way to the top of a virtual landscape that once didn’t exist.

Now What?

Now, not using social media to its full potential is a silly missed opportunity. Not realizing you need help is a leading cause of brand drama. (Okay, that was a made up fact, but probably still true.)

Social media is about reaching your most important audiences with messages that SCREAM genuine, relatable thought leadership.

For some, “doing” social media is obvious. But for others – the ones balancing budgets and doling out dollars – the question is all about measuring results. What metrics and analytics are representative of a successful, data-driven social strategy? Answering that is a mountainous task. There is no one right answer. Social media isn’t just about what you do, it’s about how you do it.

Numbers Game

From the PR agency perspective, we’re entering an exciting (and somewhat scary) new era of measurement. Ours is an esoteric craft with typically intangible – though highly influential – results.

Until now, advertisers had their CPPs and CPMs… Web marketers had their affiliate links and traffic analytics… And then we PR folk came in and guaranteed little to nothing numerical… Awkward.

TriplePoint long ago realized the need for SEO driven websites and blogs. We’ve built a system with more measurability than ever for press release distribution, website referrals, measuring influence and sharing information internally. If you’re wondering what any of that has to do with social media – it’s everything.

Now, we can implement these same strategies for social media – marketing and promoting our clients more effectively, and finally having hard, measurable data and results – proof of pass or fail.

Double Trouble

If the next (ahem, current) generation of online consumers gets their news and multimedia through social networks instead of through traditional media… Well then welcome to comboville, because now (and for the foreseeable future), you have no choice but to “do social” and PR. “Old school” generations aren’t going to stop reading USA Today anytime soon, you know.

For more info on TriplePoint‘s social media and content creation services, please contact pr (at) triplepointpr (dot) com.

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