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The Existential Threat of Social Media

I have had a number of conversations recently with people in organisations that assert they do not need to worry about or are not interested in Social Media as it is not “relevant” to them or their sector. Their organisation is doing fine, they are leaders in their field and as it will take time and resource they see no need to extend their “marketing campaign” which is doing fine thank you very much. Also lot of talk about the ROI of their “doing” social media.

Apart from letting them into the secret that Social Media is only in very small part about marketing and that “doing” social media is in most cases a matter of getting to grips with implications of a changed mindset entering every part of their value chain,  I also get to talk about the existential threat that SM may well pose to their perceived sectoral dominance.

By that I mean that disruptive new business models that may threaten them are growing up as the social media mindset and the concepts like the long tail are increasingly pervasive and understood. Current dominance is no guarantee of future dominance and so by all means place your head firmly in the sand and ignore social media mindset for your own organisation but be sure that others will take a different view and you may well be staring down the barrel of new, agile and efficient competitor who is eating your sector, and you with it. So in many cases it is not a case of considering “doing” social media but often it’s what social media will “do” to you. The ROI is that in 5 years you will still be in business.

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