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November 01, 2012


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Hi David - I definitely support this! I've used "new relationship marketing" in the past as well.

The only downside is possibly further confusing executives that might have already heard about the buzz around social.

Let me know how it goes!

David Meerman Scott

Eric, cool. I think getting away from "social" is the key so your phrase is probably a good step.

Tom Borgman

David, you are saying what I've been thinking...and much of that is based on the fodder you've provided over the past few months. I have experienced the glazed-eye syndrome often the past few years myself. I relis being able to dovetail on this new term and hope it takes hold -especially in the B2Bsphere. As I think you'd agree and have pointed out, it IS real-time "media," which has its own set of features/positives/pitfalls (per your previous post). But it can also be real-time "communications/feedback" which can be leveraged for entirely different reasons/outcomes. Just want to say, thanks for leading the charge.


I like it. I've used earned, paid and owned media, which includes "shared media." Real-time media also let's those CEOs know they're going to have to give up some control and not insist on approving every statement if you're going to respond effectively.

Bob Zagami

Couldn't agree more David. And the events of the past week prove your point. We all lived with "real-time media' through the advanced warnings of the power and scope of Sandy, then experienced unprecedented activity during the storm, and it is how most people communicated after the devastation impacted millions. There was nothing "social" about it, it was "real-time", and real tragic. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the worst storm in our lifetime in NJ and NY.

Nat Coalson

I disagree. Calling it something else belittles the significance and uniqueness of the communication.

The power of social media is just that - it's news directly from your peers. Getting information from your friends, family and colleagues is what social media is all about.

By contrast, "real-time media" could just as easily come from a major news outlet.

And although effective social media can be real-time, the social conversation is important, too.

I believe the most important characteristic of social media vs. mainstream media is that you're getting the story from someone you [presumably] know and trust.

Of course mainstream [corporate] broadcasters use social media too, in which case, maybe calling it something else makes sense.

Ultimately, it's clear that these radical changes in the way we do things requires a new lexicon ... and the conversation is important.

Thanks for all you do, David!

David Meerman Scott

Thanks all for jumping in here. I wrote the post from the perspective of having communicated with hundreds of people who say they cannot implement the ideas of instant communications at work. There are still many, many companies that forbid Facebook and Twitter at work. I've found that using the term "real time media" changes the discussion with the bosses immensely.

Nat - the line between mainstream media and social media is blurring. Mainstream media stories are shared via social media. People can comment on mainstream media stories. They can like them and tweet them. I occasionally write for Huffington Post. Technically it is a blog so technically HuffPo is social media. Yet HuffPp is one of the most popular media outlets in the world.


David, i like this a lot. I did a little experiment about 12 months ago using real time as opposed to social to introduce the idea to tech nology brands they could engage. interact real time inside our social network for technology buyers. It moved a lot of conversations from " How many whiotepaper downloads can i get " names and addresses" to ahhh I see we engage them on their terms , on their turf and in real time.

It worked. The tech brand instead of cold calling 1,000's of times a day can congruently engage with an it BUYER REAL TIME at the eaxt point of a problem, need , question, discussion etc, etc etc.

Jari Juslén

David - ha ha, you've just created a USP for selling social media to management! It really highlights the importance of a position: if you say the wrong words, nobody's paying attention. If you say the right thing, you get a crowd. Always your fan, Jari


I like the post and the discussion, thought provoking. I am in favor of real-time as a great way to talk about media. For similar reasons I now use Social business as the description of focusing on the consumer first and adapting the organizational culture to deliver the appropriate customer experience.

I think these changes in terminology helps to direct the focus away from tactics and back to strategy. Well said David thanks for this.

David Meerman Scott

Thanks for the comments. Please circle back and let us know if you're tried this with the executives in your company.

Karyn Cooks

You hit the social nail on the head. Social Business has worked for me because it implies actual framework and process, something that's easily understood within existing frameworks and provides a comfort level that its not all about food and kitty posts -- unless of course you're in the business of food or pets. :) @karyncooks


This is a great outlook on the changing landscape of media. I cringe at the term social media, while at the same time using it in so many ways. Fortunately for me personally, I do not have to justify my existence to the C-level at my employer. However, using real-time media as a term to other marketers may help reduce the smirks and eye-glazing. Thanks for the ammo David.

Jennifer G. Hanford

What great points you've made. Indeed, "real time media" sounds a lot more savvy to people at the C-Level, especially those who haven't jumped on the "social media" bandwagon yet. Everyone is interested in current events. I tend to catch breaking news via FB and Twitter these days, sometimes before the news websites report it. Can't wait to use this, David!


In Italy the problem don't exist, because a lot of companies haven't an executive working on this matter.
So, social media or real-time media, it's the same :-D

In these last months, I'm educating entrepreneurs (I choose to work with little-mid company) about the web (with an handly and simply way, talking and making example, like in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5g9RiheRzOM&feature=plcp , the title is:"Why my company should be on the web?), trying to make them able to see this BIG opportunity, that could give an help, impossibile today with other traditional tools. (your books helps me a lot).
Thanks and have a good day.

Nick Simard

Social media ohh sorry real time media. I believe it to be the most integral part for small businesses. AS it is important to communicate and solve customer queries. Satisfied customer leads to high brand image and high sales.

Sabrina L. Williams

Excellent phrasing that enhances the benefits of this communications and marketing method to potential clients who may still doubt its purpose and effectiveness. Something I will definitely have to remember to use.


A brilliant distinction David. I agree that 'social' downplays it's 'business' relevance to the uninitiated. 'Real-time media' emphasises an important aspect. Love it. Another angle: What about simply, "New media"? Not a new term, I know (people used to use that to refer to the web), but I think it gets across a similar distinction?

Anton Koekemoer

Hi David,

Great post – Especially agree with the insight’s you’ve shared in the post – As social media is not a one way channel, and offer the opportunity of real time engagement and marketing exposure. Any Business using social media as a “traditional” channel should definitely re-evaluate their strategy as to make it more real-time focused and in return reap the benefits that social (real-time) media communication has to offer. Bringing the real time aspects in with social media is definitely the way to go, especially if the Exec’s don’t see the true value of social and real time marketing and communication.

ios developers

I prefer real-time. It accurately conveys the power of the media--you don't own it and you have to keep up or die. Social doesn't begin to describe the time pressure (and opportunity) it presents to marketers and brands.

Network Marketer

Social Media is a powerful tool in communication and in marketing. Some don't know the true value of it unless someone will tell them the deeper benefits in social media. It's good to cool it real media but I stick in hearing it as social media.

Colin Arenstein

This makes a lot of sense to me. Many business people do not want socialising at work. But if real-time media demonstrates a business angle that is proactive, dynamic and gets people to know about the business quickly that gives a whole different perspective that proactive, dynamic business people can appreciate.

Joanne Tombrakos

Great suggestion. I agree that many frown at the term social media, immediately assuming anything that might hint of social could not possibly be productive in terms of business. Real time media is a more accurate description of what the mediums are.

Melbourne SEO Matt A.

That's a good suggestion. I would support "real time media" and I'm sure a lot of higher level execs would, too. What happens when you try to tell them about their "real time Twitter strategy" though? Don't you eventually have to use the services?

Yeni Rahman

Hi David this is me Yeni Rahman From Indonesia i have assignment in the college, is about how to make good relationship with people in the social media, will you teach me? my email is yenn_i@yahoo.com my twitter @i_yenn thanks

Sheetal Sharma

i think the point raised by the blogger here is very critical, executives who fail to understand the value and power of social media love to work for real time media, these same executives want to stay connected and keep their prospects engaged with their services but without the intervention of thing called as social media, emphasis needs to be given to social media and its effects that how it can help spread awareness about your brand.

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