Global April 11, 2012 Last updated September 18th, 2018 2,032 Reads share

Are Social Media In Danger Of Becoming Irrelevant To Business?

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Unless online business advocates and marketers begin to deliver profit to the corporate sector, the main reason for business participation online – social media are in danger of becoming irrelevant, a meaningless trend.

Why Irrelevant?

If social media marketers fail to prove the cash question, business will become cynical and take the view that social is unproductive.

  • Terms such as social capital, social authority and social ranking do not lead directly to monetization. Business is not interested in meaningless phrases, which are becoming  jaded and over used.
  • Business needs people to take action, by parting with their cash.

The internet provides a powerful link between business, prospects, customers and employees. A large international community are now using social media on a daily basis. The development of mobile technology means this is going to explode over the coming 2/3 years, as the 4.8 billion “dumb” mobile phones are replaced with “smart” phones.

The next step is to leverage all of these ingredience, to produce PROFIT.

Related: How To Build A Social Media Business Strategy That Delivers Traditional Business Returns

The Social Business Model;

We are witnessing a business model emerge that can leverage all online services and platforms, it is called Social Business and relates to all online activities, not just Social Media.

Social Media as a term, is in itself, far too limiting. It fails to acknowledge all the developments that are coming at us at a speed which will make our heads spin.

This is my own understanding of the emerging model. Taking all the components listed below and developing a strategy to leverage them, is the result that social business strategy is trying to achieve.

  • It is about authenticity, values and transparency.
  • It is about dynamic content and story telling.
  • It is about internal and external collaboration between people.
  • It is about harnessing all online technology/platforms and all mobile developments.

This is a formula which I have developed to help me better understand the business model:

People ( Prospects, Customers, Employees ) Online x Intrinsic Motivation = ( Advocates > Evangelists ) = Engaged Social Communities > Social Business

You will notice that in the formula there is no mention of technology, that is not a mistake on my part.

  • The strategy has to be developed taking into consideration the companies business model and goals.
  • The method of delivery of the strategy is not automatic, it has to be researched and the correct method of delivery optimised. This may lead to the use of online marketing or not.

Related: Does Your Company Take A Social Approach?

Intrinsically Motivated, to do what? Take action, that’s what.

Companies are beginning to embrace social business.

Coca-Cola and Burberry are among those leading the charge, helping to define the social business model. I have written about both companies recently.


Coca-Cola are now two years into their Event 2020 online marketing strategy to double their sales world wide.

  • That strategy in itself is defining the model but recently they have up-dated their method of measuring online success.
  • Coca-Cola are now measuring expressions not impressions.
  • They now believe that if their dynamic content leads to a member of their online community taking action, commenting, expressing an interest, that is a measurement of success.

Anyone can like your Facebook page or follow your Twitter account, even look at your website and never interact with you again. Coca-Cola are saying that it is not an effective online marketing result, as the person has not expressed an opinion either way about your product or organisation.


Burberry recently took part in the London Fashion Week, where they ran a total immersion online fashion show.

  • They Live Streamed the catwalk show on Facebook allowing their 8 million friends share a link of the show.
  • They added 500,000 new likes. They had Twitter involved, they posted the new fashion range on Pinterest.
  • They loaded pictures of the fashion show on Instragram, the music from the show was available for download on iTunes.

This was an introduction to the future of online retailing.

Here the expression of interest was the purchase of the new collection, their online community has exclusive rights to purchase for a week, after registering for the Live Streamed fashion show, from Burberry’s own website.

The data and analytics provided by all the online activity surrounding the show will prove invaluable to Burberry’s marketing department. This in turn will allow them to move onto their next creative online “community centric” campaign.

Related: Starbucks: An Inspired Use Of Modern Technology


To avoid Social becoming irrelevant this is what it will take: Online marketers doing what is expected of them, developing strategies that allow their business clients make a profit from their engagement. A demonstrable result will be the key to keeping the corporate sector interested. Social Business Strategy is here to stay, as long as it produces profit for business clients.

Thanks to for their white paper . I referenced some info in the opening 2 chapters of the report,  in the first 4 paragraphs in this post.

Image: “Question marks and dollar bills/Shutterstock

John Twohig

John Twohig

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