From my Forbes.com blog The New Persuaders:
Despite the resounding thud of Facebook’s disappointing initial public offering of stock, social media still looks like a huge opportunity for marketers–and for the rapidly expanding ecosystem of companies looking to help them understand how to operate in the new medium. So social media enablers from Buddy Media to Vitrue to Wildfire Interactive have been snapped up for big money recently by seemingly unrelated companies such as Salesforce.com, Oracle, and Google.
What’s up with that? Essentially, it’s a recognition that social media can’t be successful in marketing unless it’s connected to a brand’s other marketing efforts, from traditional and online advertising to public relations. Much of the infamous dissatisfaction of brands such as General Motors with Facebook advertising stems from their relegating social media to a little experiment rather than figuring out how it’s unique and how it best meshes with other marketing channels.
That was the message from a panel this morning at MediaPost’s Social Media Insider Summit at Lake Tahoe, which is streaming live online. The panel included moderator Jackie Cohen, director of social media and communications for marketing consultant Ticular; Max Kalehoff, VP of product marketing for social media marketing firm Syncapse, which recently bought Clickable, where Kalehoff was VP of marketing; Mike La Rotonda, cofounder and CEO of social marketing platform Votigo; and Jeff Ragovin, cofounder and chief strategy officer at Buddy Media, recently acquired by Salesforce.com. Here are highlights of their repartee.
Q: How is social media evolving?
Ragovin: If you’re not doing social media today, it’s almost a fireable offense. …