Even as I type that headline, I heave a sigh. It’s such a tiring subject, but it still merits discussion. The answer? No one–at least not completely. It’s still evolving. The so-called “social media experts” aren’t truly experts; they just spend more time immersed in social media than the average marketer, and react faster. A few years ago, who would have thought a bunch of angry, opinionated consumers could put the brakes on right-minded Sun Chips enviro-friendly packaging? Or get a new Gap logo pulled (much as it deserved to be)? I’m all for conversation, but who’s in control? There are still businesses out there who think social media amounts to “playing around on Facebook.” Or know of another business that “tried it and failed.” (i.e. threw up a Facebook page in an hour, left it alone for six months and cried, “It didn’t bring me any new customers!”) Give an agency some credit–social media needs content, and social media is another extension of the brand. Who do you turn to for stuff like that?
Tom Martin sums it up nicely here.