The format was friendly and inviting, very much in the spirit of social media. We mixed with each other freely, connecting with old friends and meeting new ones. And we were asked a couple of questions, which we debated in small groups:
- Five years from now, will "Web 2.0" (aka social media) sites be used more for traffic or building relationships?
- Should companies get involved in social media now, or wait it out?
Our answers were tallied and it was interesting to see how each question resulted in a 3:1 split in favor of social media:
- 75% thought Web 2.0 sites would be relationship-centric
- 75% thought companies should get involved now
Earlier this week, I asked my Twitter followers if web site traffic even mattered for social media. Here are some of the responses:
- to 99% of the people that will be paying you these days it does. (Tom Biro)
- I've heard a lot of interesting thing about volume of posts and things like sentiment extraction and comment clustering (Rachel Happe)
- I think it's worth looking at. But the real # that should matter is how many people are truly engaged? (Chris Wilson)
- Comscore and Nielsen have metrics such as visits/minutes spent on the site per user.'engagement' is dependent on the context tho (Jamie Nathan)
It's definitely a challenge for social media - the notion that content should be open and distributed is in direct juxtaposition to most of our current notions about measurement. But where we are able to measure, I think my Twitter peeps have it right - it's much more about engagement and interaction than it is about traffic.
When are the other 25% of marketers going to realize that?