Monday, May 4, 2009

Social Media Foot-Draggers: It's Time to Get Over It

Social media holdouts are triumphantly circulating Nielsen Online's recent report that more than 60% of new Twitter users stop using the service within a month. I can just see them waiting to stick the fork in Twitter and all the other social media tools with a final "I told you so," putting the whole issue to rest once and for all. They figure if they drag their feet long enough, the "should we or shouldn't we?" question will solve itself because social media will have proven itself to be the fad they're counting on it to be.

Sorry, but I don't think they're going to get off that easily. For every hater-esque news item about how social media fails: viral fundraising doesn't actually bring in money; Twitter is dying; Facebook is on the way out--there are equally-convincing articles pointing out the flaws in the naysaying ones. Nielsen's data is flawed. Facebook Causes is actually a powerful tool. Facebook recently surpassed 200 million active users. Etc.

The bottom line is that what's happening with individual social media platforms is irrelevant; while the tools may come and go, social media itself is here to stay. Need yet another example? ASAE has just served up a great one, in the form if its new Power of A campaign. Last week they launched the campaign and the accompanying website--you can read the details in their press release. Twitter and blog mutiny ensued, with a flurry of posts: mine. Chris Bailey's. Lynn Morton's. Deirdre Reed's. Dave Sabol's. Jamie Notter's. I'm sure there are more; apoligies if I've left any out--please feel free to add more in the comment section and I'll add to the post.

And guess what? ASAE was listening (or is listening part of the package of services they're paying Ogilvy for?--sorry but I can't help but wonder...). Last night I saw that John Graham, President & CEO of ASAE, had written his own post, acknowledging and addressing some of the issues people have been blogging and tweeting about. The campaign is changing courses, or at least adding some additional elements.

If this isn't a stone-cold example of why social media is here to stay, I don't know what is. What--suddenly a day is going to come where people get tired of complaining about stuff? Please. Obviously the answer is no. So, then, what--the ASAEs and Facebooks of the world--e.g. everyone who must now actively listen to what's being said about their brand and respond--are just going to decide they're tired of listening and catering to the masses and just unplug? Sorry but it's just never going to happen. The world of communication has changed in fundamental ways and there's just no going back.

Sorry, Twitter-haters--you may as well just pick a Twitter handle and get on with it.

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