“Social media is for people talking to people, not brands talking to people” – this according to Mark Ritson, the associate professor of marketing at Melbourne Business School.

“As a communication tool between people, it is an astonishing revolution … But I’m a marketing professor and I don’t care.”

“I’m not in the business of human communication, I’m in the business of brand communication.”

Ritson’s views are pretty straightforward: if you look at the evidence, social media does not hold up as a marketing tool when compared to traditional media. Instead, online, think SEO; think website.

Here’s his presentation at the 2014 World Marketing & Sales Forum. We recommend you watch it for yourself:

So what do we think?

Social media can be a useful, but it is PR not advertising.

As a PR tool it is much more relevant to consumer brands than B2B.

And, most importantly, it should never distract a marketeer from their primary job: to sell.

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