26 Nov 2009

Social Hype - where's the proof?

Lots of excitement over at Mashable yesterday surrounding discussion of a recent "cool" campaign for the opening of and Ikea store in Malmo.

The subsequent discussion is far more interesting than the campaign itself in our opinion. On two counts:

1. Is or isn't the use of Facebook's native viral nature being compromised by the (natural) attempt to commercialise what has in the past been a truly social technology? What happens to social media when/if we witness the end of the free platform?

2. Whither accountability for social media? Is "cool" enough to justify the no doubt significant investment in time and money to execute a campaign of this sophistication? Shouldn't social (as every other medium) be judged on its ability to sell more or, in the case of public sector clients, more effectively change behaviour?

There are too many agencies out there preaching Twitter/Facebook etc. to gullible clients dazzled by the shiny lights of the new without taking the time to understand why their clients should be in this medium leading far too often to wasted resource and dissapointment.

It's not a question of whether you should be participating in social media, nor even of what you should be using it for. Rather, you should be asking yourself why.