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Coming back to the ICT event in Helsinki where I did visit. I want to comment the social media also, especially its value in marketing.

I'm trying to to package my understanding of the issue. Of course one has to understand that in the business world the value of social media is not only a channel to where you push your ads, in the best cases it is also a community, which can help you to improve your customer service/experience and the product itself. Usually in that order. One of the key points is that this is not a change of the marketing channel, it is a question how the world is changing. This change has been already day-to-day stuff in some development communities, like Linux-word. Now it has come visible for you and me, average John Does by Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and many more similar services. And it won't go away.

There are a couple of interesting features in social media, for example the community starts to regulate itself especially when it is big enough. What is the critical mass, difficult to say, it varies. The key point here is as well like in 'old type of business' is that you have to have strategy and proper plan to enter and keep your business in the social media. It is not enough to put page in Facebook and wait for your 1st 1M Euros. The strategy has to contain how you keep your community active, how you bring value to the community. If you do your thing well, (social) media will pay you back.

On the other hand, is the social media as a advertisement channel or generally customer relationship tool really what it is claimed to be? We saw in the event complicated formulas how to calculate the value of reached people (active in the group) and numbers of people who wanted to develop the product. As an old fashioned business man I rather would see difference how much I sold before and after the campaign. This might be nasty a comment, but at the end of the day that's the measurement. I don't say that social media doesn't work, but today around it is too much mystification. It needs more realistic measurement tools before it will really fly in the business community.

And I just have to say this (here we go again...). Country Manager of Google Finland was complaining that the Finnish companies are not very active in search engine advertising, could it be something to do with the value ;-)
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