The importance of social networks becomes evident

I was kinda surprised at how little comment and conversation has been going on over the news that Facebook has overtaken Google News as the source of website referrals on the net.  This is a pretty earthshaking development in the realm of corporate communications.

Companies, especially niche technology companies, have relied heavily on Google to disseminate news releases to the customer base on the net.  This has been the primary reason for cutting advertising and PR budgets.  After all, why spend money to get attention when it is virtually free on the 'net?

But as I, and so many others, have predicted, the decimation of the news media that provided third party verification of corporate messages, has forced the consuming public to rely on a new, even more uncontrollable third party verifier... their friends and colleagues.

The way it works is people see a news release or or other corporate marketing crap on Google and instead of clicking on the link to the company to get more information, they go to their favorite social network, in this case Facebook, and ask their group what they know/think about the company.  Those friends refer them directly to the company, or worse yet, a rival that they think is better.  

You think this is a recent phenomenon?  Au contraire, mon amis ( which is about all the French I know).  Check the search rates on Google for just about any significant technology company or niche since Facebook became open to more than just college students in about 2007.  They have been steadily dropping -- not dramatically but steadily -- as the growth of social network platforms significantly increased.

So when you are considering the impact of mass micromedia (which I just found out was coined by Jeremiah Owyang that term, damn it) that's the big one.  If you haven't figure it out yet, it is sucking the life out of your outdated marketing approach.  You may need to get some help. fast.