Is the Social Media phenomenon cooling?
A few days ago there was a story in the Los Angeles Times referencing a just published report that indicates slowing growth for Facebook in the US and Canada. The study from ‘Inside Facebook’ states that month to month data shows a decline of almost 6 million users in the US in the month of May and only posted an overall growth of 11.8 million users down from 13.9 million in April and way shy of the typical 20 million plus monthly growth over the previous 12 months.(http://www.insidefacebook.com)
However the same study goes on to say that “Facebook is still growing towards 700 million users, having reached 687 million monthly actives by the start of June”.
Of course the very same day we learned of the eye-popping $100 billion valuation that Facebook is likely to file in their upcoming IPO in early 2012. What makes this even more incredible is not only are “shares and likes’ worth that kind of money but only less than slots 6 months ago, the company was valued at $50 billion in the Goldman Sachs deal (http://blogs.wsj.com/deals/2011/06/13/what-we-know-about-the-facebook-ipo/)
But the real question ‘ is Social Media just hype, a bubble? Is it cooling as to be expected?’ Well before we get all carried away with the suggested demise of social media, lets ponder some real facts.
The socialization of media is not so much about platforms, tools, apps or technology. It is more about sociology, anthropology and the democratization of media. We have shifted into an era in which we redefine influence. Marketers everywhere are beginning to casino grasp the fundamental change in our culture. The socialization of information has created a whole new ecosystem in which brands and companies can no longer push messages to an audience. Messages are not conversations and audiences are not people. Monologue changes into dialogue. The experience is profound. It is personal. And it is constantly evolving, and we are really just getting started in this new paradigm.
Our entire infrastructure is undergoing seismic change and the results are going to have staggering impact on every facet of every business! Transformation in everything from customer service, community and public relations, corporate communications and yes marketing. We can no longer aim messages at targets, but must engage our customers, supporters, fans, and advocates in conversation and dialogue! Thats the new business reality. So, social media influence is not declining, on the contrary its only just getting started!