Nuts & Bolts - Book Club: It's Time for Marketing to Put on Its Social Shoes
Tweeting about poor customer service at the airport check-in or gushing about front-row concert tickets through a Facebook status update—these are the activities of today's wired and socially networked consumer. For marketers to stay relevant and in the game, they have to play the game.
According to Erik Qualman, author of "Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business," social media is the new inbox, and the question, "Are you on Facebook?" has become the equivalent to, "May I have your phone number?" With so many people plugged in to the Web (iPhone, BlackBerry anyone?), these same people rely on their social networks to communicate with friends, family and colleagues; research products and services they're interested in; and shop.
Enter Qualman's concept of "social- ommerce" which comprises the transactional, search and marketing components of social media. "Socialommerce harnesses the simple idea that people value the opinions of other people," he writes. "What this truly means is that in the future we will no longer seek products and services, rather they will find us. … Socialommerce is a referral program on steroids."
What does this mean for marketers and their brands? Simply that they can either be made by social media (as in the case of Bacon Salt, whose viral success Qualman dissects) or destroyed. Above anything else, he reminds his readers that trying social media and hitting a few bumps along the road is far better than ignoring it. For those marketers who ignore social media, they are destined to go the way of the dinosaur.
"Socialnomics" might not be a marketing how-to book, but it gets you thinking, especially about other companies and how they fall into "the good, the bad and the ugly" of social media. And if Qualman's idea of socialommerce takes off, then marketers will have something new to chase after.