Saturday, January 31, 2009

Social Media In Australia - Talk is good, but is anyone actually doing anything?

Written By Michael Watkins for on Jan 19th 09

These past few months i have been actively following the emerging trends in the Australian social media market. What became clear to me is this. Australia has a very healthy scene of social media commentators, bloggers, twitterer's and evangelist's that do a great job of de-mystifying what social media is and how it works. What is harder to find, is actual working examples or case studies by Australian companies leveraging off social media effectively. There are benefits of talking up social media, but even bigger benefits if there is proof it can work for the commercial sector in Australia.

I keep hearing that social media is the second coming for the digital marketing and advertising space in Australia.  However to get proof of social media's effectiveness, I need to get data from the States or the UK.  I recently had a chat to one of Sydney's most well respected Digital marketers about this issue and the conclusions were interesting.

  • There is alot of talk, but not much doing.  
  • Everyones a social media strategist, complete with no personal case studies available to examine or personal track record available to inspect.
  • In order for big corporates to start using social media, they need proof it can work.
  • Once the market see's two or three large companies benefiting from a new media space, confidence in the space will grow quickly and SM will begin to be seen as a very viable advertising and marketing platform to leverage off.  

Talking up a scene is great, for the scene.  Doing is even better. 

Doing = Action

Action = Results

Results = Proof

Proof = Confidence

The market needs to be confident in SM before it invest's in it.  Confidence will only grow from proof.  Proof can only be displayed by results and results can only be generated from action. 

This is not a beatup on the the Social Media Scene in Australia, its a call to arms.  I love talking about SM as much as anyone working in the space, but big clients do not.  They love talking about results, results that proove a marketing platform can work for them.  They love talking about proof because it grows their confidence in the idea.  They love confidence because it gives them the backing needed to actually try something new. 

We all know how effective Social Media can be, so its high time we started talking about the results and proof that our campaigns generate.  The sooner this is done, the faster the scene will grow, the more clients we will all have, more jobs will become available and the healthier the scene will be as a whole.

I think this will be a very polarising post, with readers either agreeing wholeheartedly or disagreeing completely on the case I have presented.  This does not worry me, I urge that if you have a position, or if you have your own proof from previous campaigns, please leave them in the comments. This will be a start to understanding what is actually being done, versus what is being talked about.

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