Posted September 14, 2009 3:37 pm by with 3 comments

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Social Networking CollageLet’s try something new here in the world of Internet marketing. Rather than rushing off and pronouncing next year as the year of (place latest over-hyped trend here) let’s enjoy the real beginnings of social media and networks. If you’re asking “What do you mean, that’s old news!” then you are one of the sheep who likes to follow the flock that is looking for “What’s next?” rather than staying in the “What’s about to really work?” reality of business.

What I am driving at here is that social media and social networks have enjoyed a 5 plus year run of becoming known and accepted by a wider audience. It’s safe to say that the flywheel effect (wink and a nod from the Good to Great crowd) has been hit with regard to social networks being part of our online existence moving forward for the foreseeable future. Before we head off, however, and decide what will be the next greatest thing that enhances or improves ‘communication’ let’s let social networks first do something that has been elusive thus far: make money.

B to B Online reports that a new study from the Center for Media Research tells the tale of the maturation of the social network into a real marketing tool that is a viable marketing medium.

A new study by the Center for Media Research found that 56% of media buyers plan to buy ads on social networks next year, ranking just below those that will buy ads on e-mail marketing platforms (57%).

So we now enter the social network phase where marketers accept the platform as a way to spend to reach their customers and potential customers. With media buyers leaning toward social networks in larger numbers it’s the signal that the time is actually here. We need to sit on this reality for quite some time before we go rushing off to declare the next thing that is being offered which is ‘cool’ but not able to turn a profit.

Social networking is finally on the precipice of becoming a real business with real money being pumped into it and real profitability on the horizon. It’s taken a long time to get here and unless people throw on the brakes and figure it out it will be underutilized and left for dead as the industry rushes towards marketing’s next shiny object.

The “2010 Media Planning Intelligence Study” was based on an online survey of 1,164 media buyers and planners. It found that overall, 57% of media buyers plan to buy nontraditional media next year and 43% said they will buy traditional media.

The shift is more real than ever and those that will benefit will realize that the coming wave of users will be very satisfied in the world of Facebook and Twitter for quite some time. The masses will not likely be looking for the next greatest thing to come along because normal people find something that works and they stick with it.

So Internet marketers should slow down and enjoy this new era. Put a stake in the ground and stop rushing after the next big thing. The latest and greatest is here and it needs to be mined for a long time. Of course, maybe it’s not cool to be where everyone else is but those who like businesses will be more than happy to reap the rewards of being with the dull masses who are happy where they find themselves.