Think social media is a bust? If your boss thinks radio and newsprint are the way to go then you either have a very tiny and late adopting niche market, or your boss is a nut job. This week we’ve been delivered two astounding pieces of info that solidify social media as THE marketing vehicle of tomorrow. The thing is, it’s already here TODAY! What do I mean?

Check out Old Spice, where I could smell like the Old Spice dude, but man, I just don’t look like him….

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owGykVbfgUE]

What can we take away? Well in a few short months these youtube videos have gone VIRAL. I don’t mean a couple tens of thousands, no, we’re talking over 34 MILLION by the time I publish this post (all online). Sure the ads were on TV, but the sheer volume of views online is incredible.

So we know the vehicle/medium works, but what about the message. Old Spice went from old timer’s deodorant to a body wash I’ll have to buy. Did they tell me to buy the body wash? No. But the perception has changed around the entire brand.

Change your brand perception in 5 months?! It happened.

How did they do it? Obviously there was money behind the project. Old Spice’s parent company is none other than Proctor & Gamble. But P&B DID NOT treat the new adverts as a way to shove new information down customers throats.

Rather, they marketed.

Marketing means courting, interacting, conversing with your target market. What they didn’t do was sell. Selling is putting a greasy sham-wow dude on TV and hoping something sticks.

If you take a look at the Old Spice youtube channel they actually used social media for what it’s good for–dialogue.

Conversations and interactions took place through Youtube. Old Spice actually responded to questions and comments. People started engaging as a result. That’s 34 million people engaging in your brand! Take that to the bank!

The other notable social media announcement was Facebook’s 500 millionth account. That’s 500 million accounts, not visits. Their goal is 1 billion.

So let’s put something in perspective. Facebook IS about to exceed Google in terms of traffic, yet almost the ENTIRE Facebook experience exists behind closed doors–it’s a black hole to the search engines because of the login.

That means for marketers you NEED a Facebook presence. Not only a presence, but a means to interact. And if you really want to lead the charge then get on board with some of the emerging technologies on Facebook like Facebook Credits….

Marketing has changed permanently. No longer do we have some oddball subset in our departments called ‘web marketing’, but we’re meshing web, media, old, news, all together to interact with customers like never before.