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July 26, 2008


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I'm a big fan of David Meerman Scott and his Web Ink Now blog. David writes a terrific post about the people who - out of ignorance - says that they never read blogs. I always reply that since blogs [Read More]

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Jeanette Fisher

Hi David,

You are so right about using social media. On your video, (the box under "I want to speak at your event" to the left and up) you talk about the power of distributing content and you're right about that, also.

Social media has pushed my ordinary name up on the search engines. In fact, you can find me using just my first name--if you spell it right.

Love The New Rules of Marketing & PR!




This is exactly the mentality my poor Web 1.0 company has (ironically, a large supposedly savvy tech firm). When talking about anything related to social media, these same questions come up.They seem to be open to blogs but they mostly only use video internally (spend a lot to make training videos and videos of exec messages to employees). Setting up a YouTube channel was seen as wildly revolutionary for them and now that it is up, convincing them to populate it is another whole new challenge. It will be a long slow journey, but I'm determined to get them there!

David (Marketing Integrity)

As I have immersed myself in social media over the past year, I am discovering that most people I come in contact with do not use the term "social media". It seems to be something the "insiders" know but often the general public would have a hard time defining it.

When I get more specific by identifying social media platforms or services, then the recognition lights seem to go on. As you say David, most people do not even realize they are on blog when they get there.

I think as the web and technology platforms have evolved, the lines for users have been blurred and they just accept the more robust nature of their interactions without knowing the interface, technology, or strategy behind it. So, it is important to educate companies that they have to integrate these diverse social media tools into their communication strategies because it expands their ability to connect in meaningful ways with their customers.

Thanks for your insights David...and I love "Tuned In"!

Heather K. Margolis

Great post and it is a perfect illustration of folks using new media and not even knowing it. Even at a "forward thinking" company that believes in new media I find myself explaining why we use it and how we measure the ROI to co-workers and our CFO. We're getting there but slowly. I recently sent them several blog posts that commented on an original blog post about us (giving us visibility to almost 20,000 readers) and I saw and "ah-ha" moment. It almost brought a tear to my eye!


>Many people who reach blogs via search don't even know they are on a blog!

I would go even further, they dont even care knowing if they are on a blog. And really who should really care except us ?

We should watch blog audience to answer if people use them... Survey can only be usefull to measure the real influence of blogs or if it looks credible for their audience


We are all using social media. The questions seem to be putting a box around the unboxable.


To the point about people not realizing they're on a blog... I have an interest in both sci-fi and politics. For the former, I am reading the new tor.com site. For the latter I read Talking Points Memo and the Washington Independent.

All of those are driven by a relatively small group of people who post their work on the web. There's no paper version. They tend to post several times a day and often use embedded video (esp TPM who even has a TV section). They are, basically, blogs. The problem is that a large section of the public still thinks of a blog as some person in their PJs ranting versus as another way for people to communicate.

Compartmentalizing 'social media' is an artificial and futile exercise. The better questions is "where are the people who we want to reach" and "how can we reach them."

Mark Madsen

Your article just made me realize that using the term "Social Media" may be one reason it is challenging to effectively communicate a marketing plan to some clients.

By the time I get done explaining the basics of social media and the new rules of marketing and PR, some people are too overwhelmed to immediately move forward with a simple action plan.

Maybe I should dive straight in and focus more on the viewer interaction and viral aspects of a particular client's marketing agenda instead of confusing them with terms and concepts that they don't have the capacity to embrace quite yet.

As David from Marketing Integrity mentioned above, that "Ah-ha" moment generally comes after someone has personally seen the benefits of social media marketing.

Thanks for the insight, I'll pay closer attention to the words I use during a business presentation. I've been told that a confused mind's first reaction is to say NO.

David Meerman Scott

Thanks, all for this great discussion.

THe unfortunate reality that we face here are management teams that read the surveys and who draw from their own experience. We have to deal with that.

My response is always "Do you use Google or another search engine?" (Everyone says yes). Then we can have a discussion about creating content that people will find. That's a much better discussion than the never ending debate about what is social media and who does or doesn't use it.

Cheers! David


This post couldn’t have come at a better time! I’m about to distribute that exact type of survey to a very unique population. Based on this posting (which I read a day before the survey is going out) I’ve reworked some of the survey questions to hopefully provide participants with additional options, that could potentially address these issues listed above. Hopefully, our results will have some sort of impact on “management” and we’ll be able to move forward with additional “social media” planning.

Thanks for the insight and good timing.


David Meerman Scott

Bre, if it is possible to post your results here when you get them that would be cool. Either way, good luck. David

Carolyn elefant

It's amazing at the convergence of articles on social media/social networking that are emerging. I just released an ebook on Social Networking for Lawyers here - http://tinyurl.com/6qb3cg. I think you are right though - you need to start by explaining the basics of what these tools are before you can achieve buy in.

John P. Kreiss

David -

You're right on the money with this post. Social media as growing and there will be people reluctant to change. Look how long it took telephone answering machines to go from nobody using them when they first came out to virtually every home today.

Like it or not, social media networking is here to stay. If you're doing research with search engines, you're reading blogs. Accept it.

John P. Kreiss
President & CEO
MorganSullivan, Inc.

Peter I.

This is one of those great points that should be hammered away on. I constantly find myself trying to prove that some percentage, like 16%, of a demo that reads blogs is significant and it rarely gets through. What percentage of these people read the Wall Street Journal, which is invisible online (for the most part)? Probably an even smaller percentage but, for some reason, no one questions it's value. I hope that this holistic view of media habits gains some steam in the next few years.

Ron Ploof

I bet I can get three "No" answers to the following questions too:

1) Do you use Hypertext Transfer Protocol?
2) Do you use Code Division Multiple Access?
3) Do you use dihydrogen monoxide every day?

If they said "no," they've never used the web, a cell phone, or drank water:-)


Scott Young

Hey David,

Given the topics you regularly discuss on your blog, I thought you'd get a kick out of this YouTube video I came across. It's right up your alley. Enjoy!



mark allen roberts

I must say , my gut comment about direct mail and other traditional tools , having sold them to clients like MSN.Com and used them myself in the past would have been “there will always be a place for it in an integrated marketing. “

I have experienced the impact of a well executed campaign can have for customers….but that was eight years ago.

I do not want to be argumentative or emotional. I had a mentor teach me a long time ago when faced with emotion, work with facts. The proponents of tools like direct marketing make their living selling it, and I hope they have better statistics than what I found. We used to tell clients “our creative and data base tools create an interruption for the right buyer at the right time” and we had case studies to prove it. (Just the ones that worked)

Today I would like to ask company leaders doing direct marketing and other traditional methods a single question;

“How’s that working for you?”

I don’t mean the creative, or the customer service you receive from your marketing partners, or the number of leads, but what impact is your investment in direct marketing or other tools having on your bottom line? Do you know? Is it hard to measure or easy? I know what I do with direct mail sent to me. Part of the compamy Life Lock's copy is we reduce direct mail.So it must be a problem other consumers have.

I will not forget the conversation about traditional verse new rules we had after your great webinar recently. Very quickly you helped me understand the new rules and their implications with some very quick questions;

“When was the last time I received a piece of direct mail in the last 90 days that identified a perfect solution to a problem I have, and I acted on it?”

“When was the last time, in the last year I went to a trade show searching for a solution to a problem I have?”

“Have I seen a print ad in the last month that was a perfect solution for a problem and I acted on it?”

(I’m sure you articulated them better)

Then you asked me the following;

“Have I used a search engine in the last week to find a solution to a problem I have?” …and you sold me.

I think every CEO needs to be asked these questions from their investors. What I found was I did not know what I did not know. It bothered me so much I did some surface research after we talked.

I found an ROI report and benchmark Guide by NCM very informative. They studied brands in 2005 through 2007 and here is what I gathered from their report;

• For every $1 dollar spent in direct mail we should experience a return of approximately $11.49

• For every dollar spent on other forms of traditional marketing we should expect to see a return of $2.24 to $1.93

• For every $1 spent in social media we should expect to realize $63.07 return, and if I continue over a number of years as some of the brands studied I will see a return of $112.

• 94.94 % of consumers surveyed are very satisfied or satisfied with social media

• 97% of consumers said there is a good chance or better they will refer a great social site to a friend or family member.

What I want to ask every CEO is

“So how’s that working for you?”

Are you receiving a strong return on your investment? If so keep up the good work! However if you are like the small and large business owners asking us what should they do different in such difficult economic times I have to recommend new rules.

Mark Allen Roberts http://www.tunedinblog.com/blog/pragmatic-marketing.html

Tatiana Tugbaeva

>Many people who reach blogs via search don't even know they are on a blog…

David, I think the root of the problem lies even deeper. Even when people know what a blog is and that they are on a blog, they don’t really care because they still think of bloggers as a bunch of geeks blogging through the night. What they do not realize is that there are professional journalists, marketers, other professionals and, what’s more, their existing and potential customers out there. And they are looking for information on companies and products, writing reviews and sharing opinions.

Lisa McGrath

Good post ... and good fodder! My company (a big one) acts as if we all still communicate via fax. Most social media sites are blocked here ... but I am trying to fight the good fight!

Will Hicks

Good article, great discussion.

I think we're all in agreement: We need to get rid of all the pajama-wearing, political ranting, Spock-ear wearing bloggers who are giving us grown-ups a bad name.


I don't remember where I read this (your book, perhaps?) but the statistic that 78 percent of all Web users are reading blogs -- whether they know it or not. I've shared that with many clients and old school executives with some success. Is there a way to find out what the current stats are and a reliable source (including you) to quote for this?

David Meerman Scott

I don't have those stats that I have gathered myself. I usually go to Pew Internet & American Life project for the stats I quote. I don;t recall the one you cite though. http://www.pewinternet.org/

Linda Margaret

Its surprising concerning how marketers desire marketing campaigns that can be measured, a sure fire possibility with social media, and then are suspicious of the idea of social media. It's cheap, good ROI, and the software to monitor it is easily available. Nice post.

Jeff Paul Scam

Where I come from girls are considered to know nothing about IT, but my girls and I started a blog and promoted it to receive some visits. It’s a start but we will not back down from this challenge.

SEO Richmond

Thanks for this post. Search engines can provide your site with large and fundamental benefits. Social media is providing the some feature for your website. It is a way to promote a services, products and websites.

Sarah Jones

The post is really insightful and right to the point, as social media and its role in effective marketing is being widely discussed. As a PR manager myself I can say it is a very effective tool using which contributes very much to the prosperity of your business, but there are certain rules you have to follow.

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