In the last few months we have begun to meet more leading communications executives who are convinced that we are witnessing a fundamental shift in the media landscape. Social media - and with it blogging, Facebook, YouTube etc (and all the other variations to come) - is not a trend. It is permanent; and it changes the way businesses communicate.
Many agencies who serve organisations were built off traditional media. Social media is not just another strain of IT. It is far deeper than that. It is part of our culture and becoming more and more embedded with every new gadget, TV and mobile phone that comes onto the market with all the advertising to support it.
Leveraging social media tools to spread organisational messages more effectively is a neat evolution. But it is just the start. Sharp CEOs - and there are a lot of them out there- are going to switch on soon to the fact that their staff will be more productive if they can use social media tools, ie Facebook-type applications to do their work. Their staff morale will improve as well and knowledge will be shared more efficiently. More productivity, and better performance means more profits.
So far, organisations have been slow to adopt social media tools internally in any meaningful way. But that will change dramatically when the next generation joins the workplace. They will demand blogs and Facebook at work. It will be such a natural part of their lives.
But hopefully we will not have to wait until then. Instead of devoting large amounts of their energies to taming and containing social media, or wishing it had never been invented, the progressive companies who are innovative and want to prosper globally will quickly start to embed social media ways of working into their core operational processes. Social media enterprises have the future on their side.