I have been watching this trend and thought it was a good blog post. Social media networking started out as a must have for the everyday person. When MySpace was new, you just had to have a page. Then there was Facebook, then LinkedIn. All the sudden there were too many sites to participate in and it became difficult to find out what you should do and where you should invest your time.
I have all these tools in play, but have found that the social networking is just too time consuming to do personally. What I have seen is all the sudden the PR field has jumped with both feet into social media networking and in a stroke of genius now is packaging social networking sites with viral video, and online and offline push with an effort to spin a client into the stratosphere.
Is it workable, yes you bet, these tools in the hands of a PR expert can get the online media exposure that some clients and products can really benefit from. I have one marketeer who is doing just that and just got a call from Microsoft that may turn into a consulting gig to teach their staff about social media.
What I found totally interesting was that the PR world is not just selling the social media aspect but by packaging set up as a part of multiple services they are hiding the cost of the set up needed to get going and getting a big fee in the process. Truthfully anyone can set up these account for free, but this is where the parallel ends, it is what you do with them that make the difference. Having the account open means nothing, it is about building, linking, and the viral video aspect that makes these programs different and possibly worth the money you will spend.
Although for many of my clients the social networking medium is a novelty and a must have, but what do you do with it once you have it, the PR firm puts social media on steroids. This trend is definitely worth watching. Here’s just one example that I have found recently that is worth reading about.