A few months ago the buzz around social media was at its fanatical height. Everyone was talking about the new way to connect. Why, even Oprah was Twittering. Fast forward a few short months and now, thanks to media escapades like Balloon Boy, the news about social media is not so rosy. Just this weekend, the Vancouver Sun ran an article warning that Twitter can be a legal minefield (and they are right).
Is social media losing its lustre as people begin to realize that its not the miracle cure for all business ailments? Yes – and thank goodness for that. Is social media about to implode? Not at all. What we are seeing is the natural process all new technologies go through in the market. The Gartner Group hype cycle best illustrates this.
The hype cycle was created by the Gartner Group as a means to describe the hype and subsequent disappointment that typically happens with the introduction of such technologies. As you can see from the graph below taken from wikipedia, social media has reached its “Peak of Inflated Expactations” and is quickly beginning the descent into the “Trough of Dissillusionment”.
If you ask me, its about time social media was put into perspective. Too many companies have jumped on board the social media bandwagon simply because its the in thing without giving much thought to their customers, product, brand or strategy and even worse without thought for the longterm consequences of their social media action.
Its time to realize that social media is a valid marketing tool and not a toy to play with. To be effective in these forums you have to know what you are doing and go about it strategically.
This week we will be looking at some of the risks of social media and the best practices that help you mitigate these.
More on the Gartner Hype Curve.