Here’s some numbers that back up my feeling, which I’ve had since the meme first appeared a long while ago, that the so-called “Twitter Effect” that was killing movies in 2008 was bunk.

According to research (MediaPost, 9/23/10) from word-of-mouth firm Keller Fay Group, 93 percent of brand discussions happen offline. The number is lower when you look at just teens – 87 percent – but is still small enough that any impact of those conversations is likely to be negligible.

Now a rebuttal could be made that online conversations travel farther because it’s a one-to-many model. But the study shows that just three percent of teen conversations happen on social networking site, with the remainder going on through email or IM/texting, which are by and large one-to-one or one-to-a-few models.

As Spike Jones points out, it’s all about finding the balance that’s right for any particular project. Online strategies are what I do, but those online strategies have offline consequences that are no less important than what’s happening online. Blinders that assign all the importance – or blame – to online aren’t helpful.