Don’t wait for the social media bubble to burst

“YouTube is growing at 20% per month and MySpace membership is soaring past 100 million members. To put that into perspective the Wall Street Journal has a circulation of 2 million. And many marketers are just waiting on the sidelines trying to figure out how to get into the game.

Well stop waiting. The social media bubble isn’t going to burst any more than the e-mail or instant messaging bubbles burst. In fact, there is no bubble. Bubbles need an air supply in the form of venture capital and inflated expectations from investors. They also need a payoff. Almost none of that exists in this market!! Few people are going to make much money from social media because there’s no compelling business model and little barrier to entry. But that doesn’t matter.

The factors that motivate them transcend profits. In blogs, podcasts and social communities, they’ve found a soapbox, a voice and an audience in a community that matters to them. Most have told me they’d practice their craft even if they didn’t make a dime at it.

So what should you be doing? Marketers who stick their heads in the sand and wait for this phenomenon to blow over are making a career-limiting mistake. The bottom line: People are out there talking about your company, your products and your markets. They’re doing it because they care, and they will continue to do it whether you want them to or not. If you’re not figuring out how to become part of this conversation, you’re going to be shut out.”

adapted from an article by Paul Gillin in B2B Magazine, to read Paul’s blog please go to http://www.paulgillin.com/

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