Does social media = online media?

In an article on ClickZ today about building great brands, Tessa Wegert conflates social media (i.e. blogs, social networking sites, etc.) with online media buying. Something here doesn’t sit right with me. Is social, conversational, media in the same relm as banner ads, email, search, etc.? Is it a commodity that can be bought and sold within traditional media departments? The purpose of social media is to engage in a conversation & share things you are passionate about with the world – is that something that can be achieved with an I.O.?

I’m not convinced it could or should. It’s an art and one that is best suited to a partnership between marketing strategists, PR, tech, and media folk… and it’s not “online media” except in the loosest sense in my opinion. What do you think?

[photo credit: The Department on Flickr]

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Comments (2) to “Does social media = online media?”

  1. I have begun saying to people lately that “basing a communication objective on banner ads is like basing a business objective on winning the lottery”. Banner ads are not social media in the slightest, if you ask me. Banners and online media are simply a traditional media buyer’s response to using online as a new channel like any other, but we know that it isn’t like any other.
    Social Media is about egagement, conversation, on demand, sharing, personal and a whole lot more. Online media is about interuption and demographic matching (a topic I recently took on at my blog). In essence banners try to piggyback on something of quality that deserves attention and divert .2% to something that almost never deserves attention.

  2. Good insight Doug & great analogy :)

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