Twitter and Facebook are mainstream when…

…your parents are using them?

Check out this latest TV spot from Verizon and see if it resembles anyone you know. (e-mail subscribers, click on this post's headline to view the spot.)

Anyone who thinks that social media, Twitter, Facebook and all the rest are just a fad better think again.   They are now regular features on every major news channel, newspaper and are popping up in TV shows (I saw a Twitter reference on Psych the other night.) and TV spots.

The question is — what does that mean for you?  Is this going to change your entire life?  Will you never market your products or services through traditional media again?  Is your audience waited with bated breath (I always preferred the visual of baited breath, but…) for you on Facebook?

No, no and again….no.

As marketers, I think it is very important that we keep all of this in perspective.   Social Media offers us new opportunities.  But we can be authentic and transparent (the top 2 buzz words of the SM movement) on a radio spot or with a flier too.

Social media is now pretty main stream.  That doesn't mean it is the only fish in the stream.  Keep your options open.  Even if your parents are your Facebook friends!  (like mine are!)

Update:  See what Jeremiah Owyang is saying on this topic.  (Hat tip to Andy Drish for pointing me to this.)

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9 comments on “Twitter and Facebook are mainstream when…

  1. chris o. says:

    ahhhh… social media overload

    chris o.

  2. Now that social media is finally reaching mainstream adoption, I’m excited to see it treated with the same consideration as other tools.

    As a marketer you don’t launch an email campaign or a print ad without a purpose, so why would you do the same with your social media efforts?

    I think the next step for social media is for marketers to figure out the best way to use it, instead of just setting up shop and expecting everyone to show up. This is a tool that requires an effort to make it work, not unlike any other marketing tactic.

  3. Tracy says:

    I love this commercial. I smile just about every time it comes on.

    It’s true that these technologies which seemed to be dominated by the younger generations for so long, are now fully in the hands of just about every generation. This means that social media is officially a high stakes marketing game to be played by a lot of companies. Hopefully, most will realize that social media is a tool and not a marketing gimmick.

    The other point this commercial makes in my mind is one of social responsibility. If you don’t want your mom writing stuff all over your wall then you don’t have to be friends with her. I’m in my 20’s and my mom is one of my friends as well as my boyfriend’s mom. They are well aware that if they don’t like my post’s or status updates then they can delete me from being their friend. It’s a new level of social awareness that we didn’t have before…and I love it!

  4. Mike,

    I could not agree with you more. I think people flock to social media because they believe “it’s free.” While it may not cost anything to open a Twitter or Facebook account…it is not free, in terms of resources.

    Marketers need to fold SM into their marketing plans just like any other tactic. But, like the gold rush…it’s going to take some time for the fools to realize when it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.


  5. Tracy,

    You are very right…with these new tools comes a responsibility to think before you publish. Relationships that existed in privacy (parents, dating, friends…doesn’t matter) now are being played out in front of a very public audience.

    That requires a different sensibility.


  6. Social networking sites like Facebook, are a great media for marketing.
    and so what if your parents are on Facebook. It doesn’t change much, just takes relationships to a new level, online

  7. Timothy says:

    Just because it’s all over traditional media and mainstream newspapers, lots of business owners want to be part of it. They don’t even know what to do there, apart from displaying their commercial blurp every day or so and, well, ‘be there’.

    But some businesses are simply not meant to participate in Social Media. Twitter and Facebook have their advantages, but first business owners need to know what they want to do with it. The finality is not in the tool; it’s in the goal you want to achieve. Set your goals and then select the most appropriate tools to reach them.

  8. Timothy,

    “But some businesses are simply not meant to participate in Social Media.” I know it’s blasphemy, but I agree with you 100%.

    No media is the right choice for ALL businesses. Marketing isn’t a cookie cutter activity. At least good marketing isn’t.

    Goals first. Then, decide how to achieve them. You’re right on the money.


  9. Timothy says:

    Thanks Drew.

    Some business owners indeed seem to lose all self-control when being mentioned Twitter or Facebook in a sentence.

    What amazes me is they often built a database of loyal email contacts over time, people *willing* to get updated on their business activities. Why not first create a great, compelling newsletter? Email marketing still works…

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