Social Media Revolution:Over? Or still going strong?

February 4, 2010

I know I know, you have all seen this video a bajillion times…

…or have you?

I was having a conversation during a networking lunch today about social media that got me thinking. It’s widely known that your lifestyle closely mirrors that of your closest peers. This typically applies to the amount of money you make, the opinions you hold, and the knowledge and experience you have. Because most in the social media world are surrounded by others in the social media world, I often hear some of the “social media mavens” mention how a corporate position of Social Media Manager is already outdated, or how everyone already knows about the power of networking and branding online, or how they find it funny that some people still don’t know how to spell Twitter.

I think that’s ridiculous.

I mean, have they been to a real-life networking event lately? Not a tech-related conference, not a tweet-up, but something like a chamber of commerce meeting? Or a PTA event? Or a physician’s group luncheon? Have they chatted with a successful business in a small, Missouri town that’s willing to do anything to increase sales but doesn’t even own a computer? Are they aware of the thousands of 1-doc office practice managers who are still paying for postcard-and-magnet marketing in attempts to attract new patients and keep their doors open?

Now, I realize that I am in NO WAY a social media expert. I don’t have a marketing background. I’ve never operated any type of marketing-related business. And I have definitely not been around the whole social media world for as long as many of the passionate marketers currently sharing their impressive work on Twitter and Facebook. There’s a GREAT possibility that I’m interpreting their messages incorrectly.

But if my interpretation is correct, and if there are some (emphasis on some, meaning, NOT ALL) in the social media world that think the social media revolution has already passed, that worries me. And, frankly, fascinates me!

What I do know is that, with only 12 months of self-education under my belt, I have been able to connect with a half-dozen businesses and entrepreneurs in the past month and sell them on my services. And by sell I mean I said, “Hey, I can help you with that.” and before I hit the third word they were waving their arms and jumping up and down.

And I’m not doing much. I only promise to teach them the basics of the available networking platforms and the high-level concepts of branding and listening and conversing and caring, then point them in the direction of a few good books and a couple resident experts.

Do you realize the need for this? The need for the ultra-basics? The just-get-me-started advice? It’s MASSIVE. And I think that anyone who discounts that and says that there isn’t any more room for social media managers or branding consultants or whatever might consider stepping outside of their peer-group and taking a look around.

There’s still opportunity here. Even for the only-comfy-with-consulting-on-the-basics people like me. The stats presented by the Social Media Revolution video are almost 7, 8, 9 months old (many of them even older), but I think they can still be used to help educate many, many folks.

So, what say you? Think I’m way off base? Think there’s still opportunity there?

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