Some caveats for social media "experts"

From a recent presentation:

Web based services comprise the playing field for brands and their customers:

• The majority of dialogue that can inform strategic decision making takes place here
• There is really no such thing as non-web anymore, and this is increasingly true for older demographics as well

Customers have expectations when they go online, and they share their experiences with each other:

• The majority of your customers decision making occurs long before they walk through your door
• Most companys are still playing catch up; a Facebook page is helpful, but getting a broadcast to a group is much more advantageous
• It takes years to build a reputation, and a fraction of that time to undo it

As a result of these expectations, the value of marketing vehicles is increasingly determined by their measurability and interactivity:

• There is little to marginal value in unidirectional communication tools
• Social Media is not a collection of websites like Facebook or services like Twitter. Instead, it refers to the principle that a dialogue exists between people that informs their habits as consumers. It also refers to the degree which our professional and personal profiles are increasingly viewed through the lens of our online activties

The lines between the how & what of modern brands are becoming increasingly blurred, brand success owes as much to how it communicates as what it communicates;

• Your brand value is not simply determined by your product anymore, but by the dialogue surrounding it
• That dialogue is happening, right now, amongst your customers in ways like never before
• Your brands success, ultimately, will depend on your ability to participate in and manage that dialogue

So weve got a great website. Are we winners yet?;

• Not if the content youre producing isnt interesting, reliable or timely.

Above all else, the only thing a brand or social media "expert" knows is what has already happened. Any pitch above and beyond that? The door is over there...