The Social Media Ecosystem Report - Rise of Users, Intelligence and Operating Systems With such rapid change and extreme disruption to business caused by social media in recent years, many wonder where this is all headed. How about if we start with where we are now?

This Fall the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) released a comprehensive paper on the state of the social media ecosystem which, for those who need to deeply understand something before investing in it, is very insightful and appears very accurate. As expected, it's not an entertaining piece, but it's worth a read over the weekend and for holding on for future reference.

You can grab the report titled The Social Media Ecosystem Report - Rise of Users, Intelligence and Operating Systems. Below are a few excerpts that jumped out for me as valuable, sometimes surprising, and sometimes validating of my suspicions.

What do you think? Does this information confirm or will it change any of your business plans?

"You as a brand have to be completely confident about your position, because you will get criticism. You will have a negative reaction.  If you didn’t get a negative reaction, that means you’re standing neutral and you have no point of view.  Who wants to participate in that?” ‐ Frank Cooper, CMO Global Consumer Engagement, PepsiCo

“Facebook and Twitter have become online gate keepers to all things social”

"Gameification is the most common tool for glossing over the lack of a value proposition (i.e., when tools and apps offer little or no true functionality) – it appeals to users’ desire to acquire and amass things (real or fake) that show status."

"The social ecosystem is anchored by platforms (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Path) that focus on users’ relationships (i.e., the “social graph”) and offer broad utility and interaction..., interest based platforms (e.g., Fancy, Spotify, Pinterest) offer broad functionality but are vertically focused, engaging the user’s “interest graph”."

"LinkedIn has been building off its “professional graph” to create an “economic graph”, wherein professional identities – on a global basis – are available, making it easier for both human resources and capital to flow to where they can best be leveraged."

"Social media services have begun to significantly transform the way businesses interact with each other, both internally, on an enterprise level, and externally, with customers."

"Apart from CRM, enterprises are also using social media for internal non‐customer facing initiatives, such as talent management and resource optimization."

"A new breed of Social Intelligence companies – technology driven agencies – will be charged with generating actionable insight and defining social ROI."

"A brand’s social strategy starts with identifying its entire audience on and off channel, segmenting the audience into different types of users, and developing an engagement strategy for each type."

"Success is uniquely defined by each company and its own campaign approach or goals.  The ultimate goal is to amplify the earned media to shift or decrease the total media cost for brands."

"There is no silver bullet in social media marketing, and success must be uniquely defined."

"Social media has introduced a new form of communication between consumers and brands that allows for an around‐the‐clock, real‐time marketing and interactive customer experience.  Consumer adoption of social will continue to proliferate as companies offer high value and relevant engagement opportunities."