Moving beyond the experimental phase
The eyeballs are certainly there. Everywhere you look, social media is taking over, whether you're talking about the sheer number of page views on MySpace, the fact that everyone and their mother seems to be on Facebook, or the fact that you can't go a day without hearing something about Twitter.
And then there's the million-dollar-question lurking behind the social media frenzy -- how do you monetize it? While that's a problem for the platforms, the question is simply another way of asking whether advertisers have a place in a user-dominated medium. And more to the point, what is that place, and how do advertisers go about getting in the conversation without turning off their customers?
Those questions have been a continuing storyline for the past few years, with brands of all stripes dipping their feet into the fast-moving waters of social media. Those "social media experiments," as many brands have referred to them, have come off with varying degrees of success. But it's fair to say that as we enter the second half of 2009, we're past the experimental phase.
The fact is, there is good social media work being done out there all the time, and while a lot of it goes to the well-known mega-agencies -- and plenty more is done without anyone taking credit -- iMedia wanted to put the spotlight on a handful of the smaller shops that have caught our eye. While this is by no means an exhaustive list, these agencies certainly are on the cutting edge of social media, and they are all worth watching well into the future.