What if social media turns out to be a fad?
What will happen to all those web design and SEO agencies that suddenly became social media experts (some before they had ever Tweeted)? What about those tens of thousands of people who made “social media consultant” the fastest growing job title on LinkedIn?
It’s not the social age, any more than it was the new media age or the dot.com age or any of the other buzz terms that have emerged. They are just symptoms of the constantly evolving nature of human communication in partnership with technology.
The trouble with these terms is that the people who benefit from buzzwords are usually very short-sighted. An “age” is longer than just a few years, it can span generations and even now it may be too early to describe the age we live in. When we take a collective look back at this age, which started with email, that is characterised by conversation, sincerity and sharing as opposed to broadcasting and bullshit, I have a hunch we will call it the age of engagement.
So the social media specialists don’t have anything to worry about because just as e-commerce has boomed since the dot.com bubble burst, social media won’t go away. Social media is a fad but it’s also part of a larger, more sustainable, communications movement. Social media consultants are just playing in a niche within a much larger field called engagement.
Does this change your thinking? Can you see social media as part of an overall client engagement strategy? Will we see the emergence of full service engagement agencies?
In the future will you still have a sales force, a marketing team and a customer service team, or just one "customer engagement team"?
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