For many businesses, attempting to put together an online marketing plan without including at least some aspects of social media is unthinkable. However, there was a time before Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram ruled our social interactions on the web.

Granted, the web itself has always been a social medium. Before the rise of what we’ve coined “Social Media” in 2005-2006 (along with the now maligned but important “web2.0” movement), there were plenty of forums, platforms, blogs, chat applications etc to keep us connected.

Yet the idea of social media as an entity has had a good run since the halcyon days of Twitter’s launch and Facebook’s ascendancy in 2006. Now, social media has grown up in terms of expectations, both for businesses and individuals.

What that means for businesses is that simply having a Facebook page or getting likes or trying to rack up retweets on your corporate Twitter account won’t pay for your social media manager. Instead, like all marketing, social media has to be done in a thoughtful manner if you want to actually see any long term productive results from the social web.

We might be entering a trough, but social media as a concept will continue to reap benefits if “done well.”

About the Author Sam Harrelson

Digital Marketing and Technology Consultant and Podcaster at Thinking.FM

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