The social media tsunami is the game changer that is significantly impacting our world of communications and challenging the current models of engagement with journalists and influencers. This change mandates that we reassess our current engagement models and the importance of individual and organizational influence. Social media is more than a phenomenon, it will not go away. And it has created new and viral forms of influence that are changing the way purchasing decisions are made in nearly all industries. For example as a social customer hundreds of people read my reviews of hotels on Tripadivor.com and what I think of restaurants on Yelp.com. Social media is the new word of mouth marketing platform. More importantly it has also allowed us to identify and better understand the new influencers, their followers and is enabling transformation and innovation of their business models
Thanks to the social media tsunami everybody can be a journalist. And every company can become a media company; that is if they have a culture of transparency and they have employees that can write. In my mind the questions in the bullet list below are important, but the seminal question is the influence level of traditional journalists waning?
- Who is a journalist today?
- Who are the influencers?
- Whom do they influence?
- How do they impact your sales?
- How are they involved in the purchasing decision making cycle and at what stage?
- What are their channels of influence?
Journalism has been at a cross roads now for fifteen years, and its entire business model has been in a virtual stage of disruption since the advent of the Internet and digital media. Anybody who told you during the 1980s and 1990’s that there was a separation between church and state, (content and advertizing) has pie all over their face, especially today, because if that were true Madison Avenue would not exist. Most of the big publishing companies have not innovated their business models, and/or understood the role of digital media. Apple filled their void in some ways and now they are a publishing company of rich digital media content with news about artists. We are a visual society, video rules, and in the near future the majority of us will consume most of our digital media on a mobile device.