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Will social media thrive in tough economic times?

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“The economy ” is both the question and the answer on everyone’s lips. 

And, as we watch our superannuation nest eggs shrink rapidly, most communicators are probably wondering how this slowdown/downturn/melt down will affect our industry.

Another of my favourite bloggers, Shel Israel, had this to say from a North American viewpoint:

“I think that social media will be part of the solution for businesses that survive the coming changes. I think it will be more apart of the everyday lives of everyday people all over the world. I think it is about to become essential, rather than discretionary to both household and enterprise budgets.

Let’s look back for a moment. In that last economic depression, certain items flourished. Movies, radio, theater and the arts, books and so one. They cost little and they allowed people to spend some time escaping. It was all passive. When people were not doing that, they were talking to each other, over backyard fences, on street corners and in parks.

Times have changed but people don’t as I keep saying. We are pretty much the way we were when we were grunting and gesturing in caves. During these troubled times, more people will have more time on their hands and a great many of them will spend a significant portion of it talking to each other online They will use social media not just to talk, but as a vehicle for creative expression and as a source of entertainment.

That brings us to business–enterprises of all sizes, but particularly global business. I believe there is about to be an enormous reexamination of the cost/benefit of a great number of traditional marketing programs–advertising, PR, conferences, trade shows, dead tree mailings and so on. They will be acknowledged as being even more inefficient in hard times than they have been in good times.

Yet business still needs to talk with customers, prospects, partners etc. They will look for a faster, better, cheaper way and that will bring them to social media. There simply is no more efficient way to talk with customers.

This will also be true for other large institutions. Religious organizations, political organizations, non-profits and so on will go to social media for the same reason old-time politicians went to funerals and Irish wakes–because that’s where the people are. “


Written by ianandsue

October 12, 2008 at 11:06 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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