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Will Social Media Matter in 10 Years?

By Jeff McLinden

Since the social media revolution is still in its infancy, it’s only fair to ask whether it will have the kind of impact that other new media had in their day.

Face it, telemarketing had a lifespan of about 30 years — and while it is still used to promote products and services, the heyday of telemarketing is long past.  Chalk that up to government regulation and the appearance of “no-call” lists, plus the mass movement of people to cell phones from their landlines.

Direct mail came into vogue in the ’60s, but it didn’t explode until the ’80s when nearly every industry began to discover the world of direct marketing via US mail.  And, again, direct mail is still a viable medium.  Hated as “junk mail” by consumers everywhere, it still works.

The social media revolution is still in its infancy — but it has made a more dramatic impact in a fraction of the time that other media have…  At the same time, social media are creating a more connected world in which users themselves are driving commerce simply by sharing their likes, dislikes, etc. within their networks.  The implications of consumer-driven media are what makes the social media revolution a world-changer.

Will people hate social media the way they grew to hate other commercial use of mail and telephones?  Some already do.  But the savvy marketer will recognize there are good ways — and bad ways — to enter the world of social media marketing.  The best will use approaches that truly deliver VALUE to their prospects and customers…

…which is why the potential staying power of social media is so much greater than we might possibly imagine.