Thursday, April 24, 2008

Social Networks ARE the news

I've recently been asked by a potential client where the newly-created 'Social Media Manager' role should sit. Like this role and other emerging jobs like it, it will depend somewhat upon the company's existing structure and process (and significantly upon the individuals that work within them).

So.....

1. advertising has news
(banners now have feeds with product updates, branding sites that want to create repeat visits provide regularly-updated content and don't get me started on 'Advertorial')

2. news has adverts
Although news sites on the web find it quite hard to monetise their content (and the newspapers find their business models dying off), many are still supported by paid-for-advertising. On some sites the news and adverts are becoming hard to tell the difference between and even some news feeds come with integrated adverts now.

3. social media has news
News about what your friends: are doing (status), find interesting (notes), are buying (Beacon) or any number of other things they find interesting enough to tell you about.

4. adverts have social media
Even the Doritos advert in the middle of this year's Superbowl was a UGC-sourced production

..... With the lines between news, adverts & social media are so blurred, its become difficult to tell them apart any more. This blended mix of journalism, marketing and networking changes the relationships between companies and consumers/individuals.

It therefore changes the inner working of companies who are getting their heads around this. It consequently makes the question about where the Social Media Manager sits in the organisation that much more difficult!
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