You know, I'm torn on this topic myself. What I know is most so-called social media experts/gurus/consultants have done no more than read a book, attended a conference and studied some blog posts to get their much maligned titles. My first question whenever dealing with one of these types is to ask, "how much money has your expertise in social media actually made your clients?" And I want real data here.
Yet when it comes to Twitter, Facebook and business usage, I think people are off on the wrong foot. It's not about what you post - it's about what you hear. Twitter provides an amazing tool for listening...listening to what the people in your target audience are looking for. People always want to talk on these services. But they forget rule #1 in business - listen.
Yet all this goes to say that the whole social media 'movement' is bull shit. There's nothing new here other than a few tools. But take away the tools and what are we left with? Networking... connection... conversation... relationships. And human beings have been building businesses on connections and relationships for hundreds of years.
So there's nothing new in social media. All Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn (Biznik) allow us to do is connect with people from all over the world regardless of where we are. Smart phones, iPads, netbooks, laptops, desktop computers - through them and these social networks we can can now connect with people whenever and from wherever we want.
So could we just stop kidding ourselves that social media is something new? It used to be you had to walk to connect with people. Then there were cars. Then telephones. Then computers. Now we're mobile with social networks. But it's all still about connecting with people.
That's the foundation of business today just as it was 100 years ago and just as it will be in another 100 years.