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Executive Report - By Thomas Baekdal - February 2015

Is It Time to Rethink Social?

Social media is not what it used to be. This, of course, shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, but it does require us to rethink it. A couple of weeks ago, a number of social media teachers and consultants told me that it made no sense to them to distinguish between earned/organic social media and paid social media.

This sounds completely bonkers to me, since the difference between earned/organic and paid is one of loyalty and desire. A loyal customer (who desires your products) is far more valuable than one that you only reach by paying.

But are they right? When we look at it from the narrow perspective of channels like Facebook, have we reached a point where the effect of 'social' means that paid is worth more than earned? And in that case, are they right to say that in today's world, you should distinguish between them when defining your social strategy?

And even more importantly, do they have a point in saying that Facebook has 'never been better' exactly because of its increased focus on paid reach, which is often combined with a much more focused call to action? Is the disease also the cure?

This fundamental question is exactly what we will explore in this article. Is it time to rethink everything we think we know about social media?

Three very different types of business

Before we start to talk about social, it's important to explain the massive differences that exist between different types of business, and how that relates to how we choose to connect with them.

To do this, let's forget about social media and the internet for a moment. And let's discuss how different businesses use and connect with the traffic they get.

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Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé


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