Has DM News Gone Nuts?

In their article “New Media Hot Ad:tech Topic” (DM News, 11/10/08, p. 2), Dianna Dilworth and Mary Hurn write: “As Web sites become less important than a Facebook page and Twitter entry…”


Web sites are LESS important than having a Facebook or Twitter account?

Since when? Says who?

Were Dilworth and Hurn high when they wrote that sentence?

Or did they mean to say it?

I agree that social media has become the hot marketing topic of 2008 … and is undeniably growing in importance.

But if Dilworth and Hurn truly believe that having a Twitter account is — for the average DM News reader — actually more important than having a company Web site ….

Then they need a refresher in Marketing 101 … Journalism 101 … or both.

On the other hand, if they are right — then perhaps I should be sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch of the Old Marketer’s Retirement Home.

Soclal media. A valuable addition to the online marketer’s toolkit? Yes.

More valuable than web sites?

Not hardly, ladies.


471 thoughts on “Has DM News Gone Nuts?

  • Once upon a time, Bob was a B-to-B copywriter. He reluctantly got on the Web and was even more reluctant to create a blog. Perhaps he is a bit slow to see the growth in importance of these new thingies. What I think the authors of the article mean is that the social networks are creating followings (or as Seth Godin recently called them tribes) for people, products, and organizations. Once you create a following, they would probably argue that your job of “selling” to them is much easier. Did they go a bit too far, of course. Are they completely off the mark, absolutely not.

  • Joel: I did not say they were completely off the mark. On the contrary, read my post: it says social media is THE hot marketing topic of the year and growing in importance. My point was that their contention that social media are now more important to a company’s marketing than a web site not only goes “a bit too far” (as you put it) but is just plain wrong. Do you disagree?

  • Bob…I’m really not sure. I’d guess that your blog gets as many visitors as any other part of your own Web site. With the growth of blogs and places like Twitter, I’m not sure what parts of the online world are most important now or in the immediate future.

  • The website is still more important. The social networking attracts the set of prospects in that area to visit your site – where you sell your product or services.

    You don’t build the site to get them to your social networking.

    Even when your Twitter or FaceBook account (or even blog) interests someone – it does not sell your offer to that person. It’s the website that does that job.

    I agree, Bob.

  • It depends on who you are, what you’re marketing, and what your target audience is. I doubt that Goulds Pumps is ever going to get any use out of Twitter, but a trendy restaurant will. Anyhow, that sentence in the article needs a rewrite.

  • I think the Web site is your office. It’s your formal place of business. Your blog, Facebook, Twitter — these are the water cooler and lunch room. Informal places where you make contacts much like the golf course and country club of the old Republican set of the fifties.

    With Web 2.0, we can’t deny the value of the social networks and we dismiss it at our own peril. Marketing is not the way it used to be and we must change with it.

  • Once upon a time we wrote letters with feather quill pens and then fountain pens, and then with typewriters and then electric typewriters and then computers . . . and we mailed them at the post office. We never thought that this Internet email doohickey thingie would become as prevalent as it is. Bob, fastforward a year or two, and we’re going to be looking back saying the same thing about websites vis-à-vis the proliferation of social media – Facebook, Twitter and all that, which themselves will slowly become outmoded as they too get replaced; websites WILL become more obsolete and not as necessary as time goes on; in fact, it’s already happening (thus the comment, in full, “As Web sites become less important than a Facebook page and Twitter entry, advertisers wonder what this means for digital marketing.”

    WE (earlier generations) are clinging to websites, just like our parents clung to radio. The Twitter, Facebook generation will be changing all that, because as time goes on, the media norm landscape will change. They get their news and their advertising on the fly, on their phones, on their social media accounts, which, in fact, is where they spend HUGE amounts of their time, etc.

    FYI: Dilworth and Hurn’s comment was taken out of context. If you look at the entire article, it is easier to understand why they say what they say.

  • Every business need to keep filling the pipeline with new bidniz.

    If they only rely on their herd they’re asking for trouble.

    The business that does not diversify the media they use to bring in new business and bash through the clutter will also suffer.

    Not everyone is hip to social media marketing. Like Bob said it’s hot but I believe there a vast segment of the population that has a lot of money to spend and is slowly coming around to using computers.

    My dad is a baby boomer and has money to spend but he’s not facebookin’ it and twittering.

    He can’t type more than 7 words a minute and if he wants to buy something but there isn’t clear cut site that lets him buy, he’s gone.

    Someone else besides the site he wanted to give his money to gets it.

    It all boils down to how does your market like to buy.

    Mailing to lists of people who’ve only bought on T.V. will never get you as good as results as mailing a promotion to someone who’s repeatedly bought through mail order.

    This is the same. Don’t force something on your clients they haven’t raised their hand and asked for.

    Let them buy how they like to buy. And always test the hell out all the media you can.

    Note Taking Nerd Numba 2

  • Joel: Read Dianacacy’s comment for the answer to your question. The web site is most important. Proof: you use social media (and pay per click, organic search, and dozens of other traffic generation tools) to drive traffic to your web site, where it is monetized. By itself, social networking doesn’t monetize anything.

  • I agree with Bob here and what tends to happen is that EXPERTS(?) lead you to believe that there is a 100% solution to our marketing needs. It is clear we all need to have web sites with the appropriate addins for social media where appropriate.

    It appears that you get these gung ho new media types that just love to push the new media but it is clear that all media are not created equally nor are they the RIGHT media for all or some of our clients. It’s our job as marketers to find the right medium and use our marketing, copyrighting and sales skills to move them forward to leads and business.

    As a consultant, do my clients really want to know that I sat in an airport in Denver for half my day on Wednesday last week. Or if I spend all day yesterday on Conference calls. Gee they will just line up on my Twitter Page for that eh? I would bet my house that 95% of my marketplace don’t even know what Twitter is and does! I am in the healthcare purchasing sector.

    Nuff said, stop drinking the social media Koolaid Folks!

  • BobHere: you are right. Consultants in ANY new technology or channel, social media especially, sell KoolAid. They are not content to make the very legitimate claim that their media or technology has merit and should be tested. Instead, they get on their pretentious high horse and claim that they have “revolutionized” marketing, and that what they are pushing renders everything else insignificant if not downright obsolete — which is a complete fraud, of course.

    This, for the record, is what pisses me off about so many social media gurus and blogging evangelists, and books like Cluetrain.

  • I agree with Bob’s last comment. I think a lot of new media experts are pushing new technology to advance their own career.

    They’re really putting themselves out there. As Stacey put it, facebook and twitter could flourish and replace other means of communication, but i doubt it. It is a very “right now” marketing strategy. Don’t invest too much time and money because something else will be coming along in a couple of years.

    Do you remember MySpace? It is what facebook replaced. You would look silly saying its still a good way to promote you business.

    However I do agree that for a lot of businesses facebook and twitter would be a cheap step-up from their lackluster, self-oriented site.

    To maximize the efficiency of your social media networking- don’t use it for “marketing” but for “PR”

  • Sean: I think social media can be used both for PR and for traffic generation. But at the end of the day, someone has to SELL something — and that’s why we need landing pages and web sites: to close the deal.

  • Social networking sites are certainly a new ‘feather in the cap’ of many business operators and marketing professionals.

    But I do not think at this point in time that they outweight the power of a website for a business.

    A website provides a place of solidarity and ‘permanancy’ to an online business. It gives your ‘tribe’ and ‘raving fans’ a place to call home, and to drop in to find out about you, and your offerings.

    Fiona Fell
    The Profit Maximsing Web Geek

  • Hi Bob:

    After reviewing many of the comments here, I’m in agreement with you–Social Media isn’t going to usurp the Website’s role any time soon.

    Perhaps you have to be “old codgers” like us, who have weathered many a media storm since the old Selectric typewriter days, to see the bigger marketing picture here.

    TV was said to be the death of radio…
    DVDs were said to be the death of cinema…
    The Web was said to be the death of print advertising…email will conquer the postman…bla, bla, bla.

    None of that happened. These various media complement one another–they don’t destroy each other.

    Yes, one will run ahead of the other in certain ways for periods of time, but this whole notion that Web 2.0 is somehow going to replace the company website (like, you know…yesterday) is just ludicrous.

    As you pointed out, Social Media has yet to prove itself as a medium that can out-monetize a website.

    Our markets might have shorter and shorter attention spans, but when they’re searching for something specific, they don’t turn to LinkedIn or MySpace first–they Google it and hunt up the websites in that category that seem to be most relevant to their search–and that provide the most valuable content.

    Social Networking is aptly named–it’s a social gathering place for people to connect. It is NOT, however, the Information Super Highway. Yet.

    As a marketer, it’s always prudent to keep abreast of the newest trends to stay ahead, but don’t put all your eggs in one basket; use everything at your disposal that can be MEASURED for response. New Social Media “ain’t there yet.”

    Call me a Troglodite–but I caution my clients to put their money where it is PROVEN to be most effective.

    Apryl Parcher
    Health and Wellness Copywriter

  • I type. I talk. I Tweet. I try.

    Have I ever gotten a customer from Twitter in the several months of Tweeting there? No.

    Have I received great help, support, and a few site visits from the community there? Yes. But it’s not enough.

    In my opinion, your main website is like a lady’s little black dress. Twitter, Facebook, etc. are simply the earrings, pumps and pearls to help add interest(read: visitors, viewers and prospects).

    Using only Twitter or only Facebook is like marketing naked. (Bluefly ads come to mind.) Sure, you may get some attention… but is it the kind you really want? And are you reaching your core market?

    Nope. The money – and the conversion – are in the Web site. The rest are just great accessories – at least for now.

  • This discussion is very interesting and going on all over the web. We were talking about FaceBook in London just last week with Anne Kennedy of BeyondInk.

    I think that today Social Media is HOT because the trend is to have a FaceBook entry or to Tweet but teh bottom line is they are not monetizing – other business models do not fit social media – full stop.

    Social media will become more important, and but I don’t like the idea of putting all my efforts into a strategy that sees all my content out there on a third party platform where I have no control – it could be gone from one day to the next. It’s not fail safe …

  • Social media outlets are always a good idea. People who use these services like to see that a company is up with it. Setting up a good profile is always a good marketing idea

  • You actually make it seem so easy together with your presentation however I in finding this matter to be actually something which I think I might by no means understand. It kind of feels too complicated and extremely broad for me. I am having a look ahead to your subsequent post, I will attempt to get the hold of it!

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