The Road Ahead: Impact of Social Media The Impact of Social Media on Auto Journalists

The growing impact of social media brings some good news to auto journalists impacted by the dwindling print market for their services. It is a combination of shrinking ad budgets and marketers’ growing awareness that their brands need a winning personality to succeed. It is a theme that runs through nine of the top ten social media experts’ predictions for 2009 as selected by Max Gladwell in his blog. Anne Handley is quoted: ”People who are trained as journalists are specifically geared to helping companies execute on their 2009 marketing strategy, which is to become trusted sources of information within their specific industries.” The Impact of Social Media on Auto Journalists

Michael Blumberg says, “Giving high-quality content as a gift with no strings attached is likely to increase consumer appreciation. I therefore predict that brands will shy away from ads and toward sponsoring more independent editorial.” Paul Dunay of Buzz Marketing for Technology says: “I think you will see more companies acting like Media companies and even launching their own media properties based off of blogs, communities, and wikis they set up over the last few years.” The Impact of Social Media on Auto Journalists

Gladwell adds: “We’re journalists by trade. The best PR firms have always recruited journalists, and now marketers are waking up to the value of using top-notch storytellers to tell their clients’ stories. It’s a tough time for journalists, so it’s good news that they (we) will play a key role in the new media revolution, where all companies are media companies.”  Another aspect of social media – interconnectivity – raises yet another prospect for the auto industry. In a January 29 Business article and interview titled, “Detroit Should Get Cracking on its Googlemobile,” Jeff Jarvis, author of What Would Google Do? says “The huge declines in sales reflect a fundamental disconnect between drivers and Detroit. It’s time for a radical rethinking of the way U.S. automakers do business. … Car companies have no good way to listen to customers’ ideas. If they had opened up, years before, I would have been among the legions who’d have gladly told them to invest 39 cents for a plug-in car radio so we could connect our iPods.”