I've been asking a number of people the question, what is the new reality in social media?
Tom Armitage at Upstate Cerebral Palsy gave his views on the question.
Tom Armitage: Some believe social media is a fad, others say it's here to stay. I like to stress that, even if it's only here temporarily, it’s way too powerful to pass up. It serves multiple purposes for an organization and can accomplish a variety of goals - event if its here for only, say 5 to 10 years. (But it will be here longer - trust me. Even if its not Twitter and Facebook, new and improved tools will be developed and the concept of "social media" will prevail).
In short, the reality of social media is simply a new way to engage your key publics. A common misconception is that it is being used by a younger demographic, when in fact, a good majority of this audience is 55+. The truth is, this public is made up of those active users who are SEEKING news. Granted many Facebookers are there just to have fun and browse their friends' pictures, but those on Twitter and those blogging are engaged and helping to spread news throughout the world.
John Cass: Thanks Tom, I'm pretty sure social media is not going away also. And you are right people under 25 are not the only people in social media. Not only is the web nearly 20 years old but social media and email are a lot older than 30 years. Even if someone is just using social media for entertainment or connection, there's an opportunity to spread information about brands and products via social media. That's where the interest and opportunity begins for marketers.
With every RT, your message can be catapulted to another state, another country. A news pitch to your local radio station is not enough anymore. Why should it be when I can create buzz about my organization in the next town over or my neighboring state. It has endless possibilities IF you are using it effectively and professionally!