6 October 2009 35 Comments

Social media: will you still participate?

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals

flickrfacebooklinkedinbrand twitterThere is nothing good that does not has a cost attached. Everything that worth it will always make a demand from you. Today social media has become the buzz word. Many marketing communicators, public Relations experts and brand drivers are rushing into learning how to take advantage of the new trend. Trends as it is known do not last eternally. No one knows whether this will be applicable to social media though we seem to have come to the  logical conclusion-by our actions that it has come to stay for good. Social media is reputed to create awareness, build relationships, encourages conversation, increase personal, brand visibility among others. But with every great idea comes with a responsibility, certain demands and fears.

Authority counts in social media. To become an authority, you must establish trust, engage the community, sacrifice personal and corporate time. Maintaining control is becoming increasingly difficult. What we say and hear more today is ‘lose control’, brand democratization and voice of the stakeholders. Getting attention in the sea of noise is also a great challenge. The need to go for more knowledge is now  popularized as no novice can play the game. Online reputation demands knowledge of adequate software. Web 2.0 is what we are playing with now and web 3.0 is already around the corner. It means that in order to be relevant, we must up our knowledge to stay in control. Today, we are emphasizing words of mouth. Getting customers to buy in and voluntarily communicate the brand to relatives, friends and colleagues. The challenge here is daunting. There is also the issue of measurement of results. Yet many top executives are not even persuaded that social media holds some magic wands to bring new and improved ways of doing business. Developing contents, marketing it is a huge task.

I read an article by Mike Herman recently where he counseled that we should not carry issues to the extreme when it comes to social media. According to him, a research conducted showed that we still have huge percentage of customers who are not hooked with the juice of social media because they do not have access to personal computer nor internet. He also claimed that social media has not been widely trusted. The fact that everyone can blog does not make their opinions valid. Mike conclusion was that it is too early to place faith in it.

Given that social media will take away personal freedom with regards to openness, place a demand for a frequent and consistent content update among others, do you think it worth the coins? This is what I am thinking about today. I am an addict of social media if I must acknowledge that.

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