How Powerful is Social Media?

The recent Festival of Media, in Valencia (on the 18th – 20th April 2010), had an interesting poll for the audience, asked by someone online. The question was :

How many times more powerful than traditional marketing channels do you consider Social Media to be?

The result? 37% of the audience considered Social Media to be more than 4 times more powerful than traditional marketing channels:
The Vote - Results

Now just to set some context here, the Festival of Media, in Valencia is billed as a “global festival of media creativity“, and “brings together the international media and marketing industry to celebrate the best in media thinking and creative communications strategy and to explore the media developments that are transforming the industry“.

In 2009, “45% of delegates were directly responsible for advertising budgets and strategy“.

Just glancing through the Delegate List, you can see that the advertising and traditional media channels are all heavily represented, and at fairly senior levels.

This result isn’t from a bunch of Social Media Evangelists, all getting together to have a Social Media Love in, but really from people currently dominating the current Media Landscapes, and really in touch with where things are at, from both an operational, and a direct line of accountability perspective.

Now admittedly, I wasn’t at the festival, I don’t know how many people were in the room at the time that poll occurred, and if you watch the full video below, you can see that Jack Klues, Managing Partner, at VivaKi has just finished up his talk, on Coca Cola, before they move into the poll led by Patience Wheatcroft. However, if we work on the assumption that most of the delegates in the audience were present, and that this session was a part of the main conference, then

I think it’s safe to assume that Social Media is considered to be significantly more powerful than traditional media, by the larger majority of delegates.

So how many times more powerful do you think Social Media is compared to traditional media? (and yes I appreciate there will be some bias, given the audience and general thinking of my community at large, but still, I’d be interested to know what the general opinion out there is)..

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