Unlocking the elusive potential of social networks
As published on the McKinsey Quarterly
Excerpt: "... We think of word of mouth generated on social networks as a distinct form of media... When you think of word of mouth as media, it becomes a form of content, and businesses can apply tried-and-true content-management practices and metrics to it. In addition, word of mouth generated by social networks is a form of marketing that must be earned—unlike traditional advertising, which can be purchased. "
"Obviously, there are no generic solutions, and each company will need to invent and discover what makes sense for its unique situation"
Accurate metrics are one reason word-of-mouth powered by Web-based social search is vastly superior to other forms of marketing. Other benefits will be improved cash flow,stronger customer relations, and a downward effect on under-performing, legacy advertising media.
While there may be no generic solutions, platforms may be developed that support the common needs of millions of small businesses in the long-tail of the $100B US local advertising market.