Social Media is Sun-Setting. Or Is It? part 4

Social Media has seen it’s sunrise, mid-day glory and is now sun-setting, or is it?  See what three thoughtful professionals have to say.

Sunset through the Willows.

As I wandered the HubSpot Inbound 2012 Sponsorship Pavilion I started chatting with Peter Kim and Ann Handley at the Wiley Publisher table.

We reminisced about the early days of Social Media (Twitter etc.) in Boston, a whopping 5 years ago, and marveled at how many of our friends had become well-known authors and speakers.

The conversation soon focused on how Social Media is being absorbed by Marketing, PR, SEO, Content Strategy, Customer Support and other established disciplines. Peter was pretty certain about this and I agreed.

Later I wondered whether there was any consensus across these disciplines so I asked a few folks that were at the conference, or maybe wish they were and some that weren’t to offer their thoughts. Here is what they were asked, minus the gracious introduction. 😉

The proposition is that Social Media is sun-setting. It is less and less of an individual entity each day as it gets absorbed into traditional Marketing, PR, SEO, Content Strategy, Customer Support and other established disciplines.

There are two questions.

1)      Could you explain why you agree or disagree?
2)      How would you describe what might be next? What’s the next big thing?

Below are responses from experienced professionals involved with content writing and strategy, SEO, PR, Video, Marketing and others. I love how each has their own relevant experience and perspective that really helps to redefine the question and reasonable answers. Social Media is not going away in totality. It is becoming another tool in the toolbox of marketing and other disciplines. That’s my view.



Derek Edmond
KoMarketing Associates
Managing Partner
B2B SEO, PPC, and Social Media Strategies


It is certainly true that marketing strategies are in a state of convergence (see my recent SEW column on Converged Media ) but marketing teams still need a resource(s) to understand social media platforms and tools available to communicate with target markets online/in a network. Social media cannot be effectively done in a vacuum however. Departments and units, particularly in the enterprise environment, can all benefit and have an impact on a comprehensive social media strategy.

Two big focuses come to mind at KoMarketing Associates:

  • The intersection between social media and mobile device usage.
  • Developing and defining better conversion opportunities and focusing on improving client conversion rates associated to those opportunities



Geoff Livingston
Author, Marketing Strategist
Geoff Livingston is an author, public speaker and strategist who helps companies and nonprofits develop fantastic marketing programs. He brings people together, virtually and physically to build loyal networks for business, change and higher knowledge.


Cloudy sunset

Social media is not sunsetting, far from it. In fact, it’s growing.  I think there are two things that make one want to think that social is ending.

One, the shine is gone. Industry discussions about community engagement best practices, nurturing, blogging, conversing, commenting, liking, moderating, etc., etc. have become a redundant meme over the past five years. Sharing, commenting and liking are technology feature sets that have become an expected part of most web pages.

In my mind, though, that does not mean that social is over, it’s just boring.  The actual spend from a marketing standpoint is increasing, according to the latest CMO Survey. 7.6% of the overall budget with an expectation to increase beyond 10% in the next 12 months, and to 19% of the total spend in the next five years.

Two, people are done talking with brands. There’s nothing particularly special about talking with your toothpaste anymore. That doesn’t mean people are done talking overall, though. Social media is ultimately for people to talk and share information with each other, not a logo. Brands have their time and place in that conversation, it’s just less special than we as marketers would like.



Darin “Doc” Berntson
Social Media Manager


I would agree that social media is sunsetting as far as an individuals effort is concerned, but not that social media itself is sunsetting. I think that what is happening in the realm of social media is changing traditional marketing and PR as we know it. I would almost rather say that PR and marketing is sunsetting.


The next big thing? More companies finally understanding that they have to get on board with social. Why is that next? Because there are so many companies still kicking the tires. Owners and presidents not buying in yet, preferring to get their toes wet rather than dive in! Businesses feel that they need to walk before they can run, but they better wake up and realize walking does not cut it today, they better start running now. So I look for business to finally embrace the social landscape.
What do you think social media is doing? What’s next? Share in the comments below.

This is the fourth in a series. Subscribe by email or RSS to receive future posts.

Read Part 1 –

Read Part 2 –

Read Part 3 –
All photos by Jim Spencer.