Social etiquette dictates three things one does not mention at a dinner party; religion, sex and politics (actually these are all great conversation starters).

We need to add a fourth; Social Media

If you work in the consumer or SMB segments then the use of Social Media is pretty much a no-brainer.

Dare to question the sense and payback in the Enterprise segment and you are accused of being a luddite. No-one doubts the ability for these apps to make connections and identify advocates and detractors; the question is how this will impact your business and how do you decide how much budget and time to allocate.

We also see companies considering Social Media as new tools for pushing content rather than thinking about them as enabling Social Networking i.e. the opportunity to identify advocates, see (and maybe switch) detractors and have a two-way conversation that involves value exchange.

We say it’s OK to question; the world doesn’t need any more sheep.

The tools are now there for communication, community and finding opinions of just about everything your company does. The Buzz is easily measurable but where is the business?

in 2009 marketing needs to be measurable, not by volume but by business impact measured in the currency of your choice.

Take a look at the world of events. It used to be that you had to be there. Everyone else was so what did it say about your company if you don’t show up’. Events are one of the simplest marketing activities to measure, the measurement has now happened and budgets moved elsewhere.

Companies are now placing sanity above vanity; as Seth Godin says, ‘the web is like a giant cocktail party, everyone connecting and keeping score of their popularity, this counts for nothing when you need that $100k contract signed off’

Experiment, measure and decide yourself based on business as opposed to buzz.