Social media has reached a tipping point in the corporate world. How important is the social component? It depends who you ask.
Just be clear, the underlying need being fulfilled by social media is not trend-related. It’s all about the data.
There never has been as much data available to help companies parse their marketing strategies. That doesn’t mean it’s easy to know how to use it. As corporations refine their online strategies, they need more and more tools to track the results of those strategies.
Salesforce.com’s deal to buy Buddy Media for $689 million is evidence of this trend. Salesforce.com sells software as a service and has benefited from its expansion into the cloud, where it will no doubt deploy its new social media tools.
Enterprise tends to trail consumer interest in Internet applications, and social media is no different.
Buddy Media allows its customers to build integrated social media applications into their Web presences and then mine the resultant data to hone their marketing strategies.
Automated marketing research is a trend that’s here to stay. It’s practically what Web 2.0 is built on. My guess is that the bigger social media gets in the enterprise space, the more valuable old-style investigative research will become. Social media is important until everyone is using it. Then it’s on to something else that generates a different kind of data.