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Marketing is king. Always was, always will be. Content was just one way to achieve marketing purposes, and even that's coming to a close.
That's really interesting because a lot of the case studies in social computing texts refer to relationships between board members.
to add insult to injury, they may be doing with your content
Other visions of life on earth are not grounded in our actual human situation. Those visions would be something like that big, "free" rock festival I attended in Bethel, NY back in 1969.
Now most people naturally may go to Home Depot because of...but why should an entity that controls 65%-95% of the internet traffic tell me close to 100% of the time go to Home Depot, not to Tedster. Sure Tedster can go to a different town and carry people to the store with a free bus ride and other things, but why is someone cutting off your normal traffic simply because you don't spend $1 Billion a year in advertising.
A good local hardware shop would have their vertical supervisors participating online.
If you have a hardware store, you could have a facebook page and tweets. People may got to home depot because they get emails, coupons, tweets and facebook updates - its easy to see what is on sale. If the hardware store doesn't want to do that, well, that is their own fault.
Social media's good for some verticals, that's all. Outside of that, do it to game the rankings.
Another example of social media fail. Many, perhaps most, businesses will do nothing as the result of social media. Social media's good for some verticals, that's all. Outside of that, do it to game the rankings.
Everyone's on board because it's cool and people in boardrooms are too clueless to determine if there's any money there. Start tying bonuses to sales made based on social media, and a lot of companies would stop twittering/facebooking in it's tracks.
If at all social media help businesses, it does so in popularizing the brand name, provided you have one.
I can assure you that everything you're describing would be a complete waste of time for our local hardware store.
Both Facebook and Twitter are sending me traffic, and that traffic is increasing every day with every new member that adds my site. Social? I'm all for it.