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December 22, 2008


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Jason Baer

Thoughtful post Paul, and something I've been considering too.

It's not just tools. Social media isn't the new Web site. Or the new print ad. Or the new email. Fundamentally, it changes the way people connect, and more importantly perhaps, the way people connect to companies.

To me, social media is about humanizing brands that have historically been anything but human.

The "tools" are just conduits for that process. Which is why getting too married to one or more of the existing outlets misses the point. One of my own goals for 2009 is to actually do less on Twitter and more on FB and LinkedIN, and start working in some other areas too.

Nice job on the post, and Happy Holidays.

John Jantsch

Hey Paul you are a complete cretin for challenging my words, who did you sleep with to get on this blog anyway . . .

actually Paul, we are apart only by degrees perhaps - while I do see you as a purest, and thank goodness for all of you, I'll always side towards more of a tryist.

I am certainly overstating my case about tools as a way to thwart a little of the holier than thou talk in social media circles that chases some small biz folks away from even dipping their toe in the water.

The point is that every marketing medium ever created is just a tool because marketing is just a tool, a tool to achieve business objectives, whatever they may be.

My single soap box point is this . . . focus on objectives and select the means to achieve them, whatever that may be.

You know I'm a huge fan of social media, but let's keep it in perspective lest we get blindsided by the next new thing. (I wonder what the chatter on twitter would have been the day TV was unveiled.)

Thanks for attempting to keep me honest, you've got a long way to go on that front. Color me a fan!

Paul Chaney

"Fundamentally, it changes the way people connect..."

I couldn't have said it better Jason. In fact, I didn't and, therefore, very glad you did.

Paul Chaney

I'm glad we can look at the jewel called social media, each see different facets, then have an open, honest and friendly dialogue. As to fan status, likewise. I "heart" DTM!

Martin Edic (Techrigy)

I just got followed by a brand (which will remain nameless) that was following 3000 people, had 3 followers and 3 updates. This idiocy is the result of someone seeing a marketing opportunity where there was none and not understanding that this kind of thing can backfire very broadly. They have annoyed 3000 people! A lot of those people are going to respond negatively. We do social media monitoring and we're increasingly seeing more of this spammy behavior and the backlash it can generate.
Social media is a self-regulating communications layer and should be treated as such by always adding value specific to the conversation you are in

Lee Erickson

Paul, totally agree with the mindset part. It's like parenting, you don't get it until you've actually done it. It's a different way of thinking and you have to dive in and experience it before you can make the mental shift.

I think it will take a while for everyone to see how conversation, educational and informative content, and transparency will ultimately drive sales for businesses. It's a longer process and takes more resources so management is pressing for ROI.

10 years ago clients used to ask me, "Do I really need a web site? What's the ROI in that?" That's a silly question today. I think in 12-18 months, for B2B companies, asking whether they should engage customers via social media will also be a silly question.

But I guess I'm preaching to the converted.

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