Dilution. Dilution. Dilution.

20 01 2012

Those are the three biggest problems with Social Media.  Initially, a client had one website.  Now, he must have three:  1) Primary site 2) Smartphone (Mobile) site 3) Tablet (Mobile2) site.

Advertising was limited to paid directories.  Now, there are directories, banner advertising, ppc advertising (on multiple search engines), affiliate marketing, etc.

Social Media was limited to forums.  Now, there is Facebook, Linkedin, Youtube, Twitter, Quora, Pinterest, Posterous, Yelp, Klout, etc.

The first challenge comes in determining which platform will be most effective.  That can only be done through a time-consuming trial and error process.  How long does it take to collect 5,000 friends on Facebook or 1,000 connections on Linkedin?  How many blog posts are required to achieve “critical mass?”  What about potential setbacks?  A disgruntled customer, a misspoken comment, an erroneous statement can place an impenetrable roadblock in the path to success.  Solicit too many connections on Linkedin, and you will be required to provide a correct email address for each new connection to be accepted.

The second challenge comes in identifying the true cost of your Social Media labors and the subsequent return on investment.  Is time spent hammering on a keyboard equal in value to time spent at networking events, in existing client offices, on the telephone seeking referrals from existing clients, designing new strategies or creating better product presentations?

This brilliant video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hzgzim5m7oU has generated more than 12 million views since it was posted on February 23, 2010.  If .001% of the views turned into clients, then Purplefeather would be an industry standout.  That is easy to measure using the same tools we apply to weigh the success of our own marketing efforts.  The odds of creating a video, a blog post, a Facebook/Twitter entry with an equivalent impact fall somewhere between zero and none.

Until such time as Social Media becomes more streamlined with fewer platforms, or when existing platforms target specific channels, there will be too much wasted effort.

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3 responses

22 01 2012
Bill Greene

Good perspective and well-stated position, Walter. It seems to me that sticking with the most appropriate mainstream primary social network makes sense for most people. If you are in consumer products/services, Facebook seems the dominant network. If you are in commercial or professional products/services, LinkedIn seems much more appropriate.
Please confirm my belief that Twitter is a soon-to-be-passing fad and not worth any effort at all.
In support of your comment about fewer Social Media platforms, I think focusing on the one or two most appropriate for your intentions will naturally eliminate the also-ran dilution sources.
Thanks for the opportunity to provide my $0.02.

23 01 2012
mostcasualobserver

Thanks for writing the final chapter, Bill. Your generalizations are a reasonable starting point for the novice or the professional with limited resources. When the stakes are high however, one cannot risk missing a potentially significant market segment by setting aside one or more Social Media outlets. Until such time as attrition has an effect, the professional marketer has no choice but to cast the broadest net until statistical analyses provides a clear path.

The value of Twitter is in its effectiveness as a megaphone. If you use Twitter to announce your other Social Media forays, it will successfully bring attention to your efforts. Announce blog posts on Twitter. Announce posts to forums and groups. Announce speaking engagements. Reveal successes. Report awards and recognition. For the serious marketer, Twitter posts must never be inane, whimsical, or personal.

22 02 2012
Lisbon

I find it hard to convince Companies that they must spend some of their funds in creating a presence on the internet . since most of them have this notions that if everything is free why should I pay so much.

I guess only the ones with deep knowledge on how this buz runs understands its potential, however we must educate corporate decision makers in looking at the larger picture.

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