Friday, November 27, 2009

Social Media Update

Sorry my laptop fried and I was unable to post for a while. Since my last post I have read a lot of articles written on Social Media that truly make my jaw drop in terms of ridiculousness. I read from the founder of Mashable that everyone will be living lives without privacy by our own choice where everything we do everyday is seen by everyone. I almost died laughing at someone who made the Huffington Post's Top 10 Game Changers! Well sorry dude your not a game changer when you have no clue. If we all wanted this Facebook Beacon would of been a smashing success. If we all wanted this we would not keep our profiles set to private. 18-24 year olds wouldn't be leaving Facebook because they are being friended by their parents and grand parents!

Then I read that Media Companies will have no Advertising Business for Black Friday and that Brands will be using only Social Media to Advertise. Well I was pretty mad because after laughing so hard at Mashable I sure didn't need something to make my gut hurt so hard I need to be sent to the ER. An example given was a Twitter Account named CheapTweets which posts 800 deals per hour on it's Twitter Account. So I checked it out. Well the fact is to showcase deals and a web link in 140 characters is impossible. It basically forces one to blindly click on link after link after link to see if the deals are worthwhile. And to sift through 800 per hour I could read War and Peace before getting through just 2 hours worth of deals. And considering that CheapTweets had to reach me from OUTSIDE of social media just to be known, and that if I followed them I would have 800 spam tweets showing up per hour clouding out anything my friends post or anyone else worthwhile I would probably un-follow within 10 minutes. So no this view is not only wrong it is hysterically amusing.

Lastly is the lack of reach for social media. I will use Twitter and Facebook as my examples. Anyone who uses these networks knows that attentions are fragmented, most live news feeds and Tweet Streams go unviewed because of the massive amount of posts. Normally when I log onto Facebook I have over 300 updates I have not seen so I read the first 25 from my 259 friends and 60 Fan pages I connect too! On Twitter I average about 75 to 100 unseen and I read the first 20, and I only follow 59 accounts. Now the numbers. Since only 1 in 3 Facebook Accounts is actively logged into once per month, that means either 2 of 3 are frauds created by Social Media Companies that sell Friends and Fans by the 1,000's I estimate only 1 in 6 Americans are on Facebook at least once per month. And since we all chat and talk with friends foremost an amazing engagement campaign can hope to reach maybe a million or two people which is nice but not world beating.

I will end with these observances and state I love Social Media as technology for us all to connect. We should be paying for it directly. Facebook would have 7 billion in sales this year if they could get each account to pony up $2 per month (and eliminate all fraudulaent accounts possibly). But the Guru's and the Networks all self promoting to make a buck are completely biased in the face of logic and Brands should be aware of this. Use Social media to accent your marketing efforts. But don't think it will replace the traditional forms of marketing that have worked to varying degrees for so many years. Remember all marketing channels are valuable, the challenge is how to measure and price them so that you get proper value for the money you spend.

And to all you Social Media Companies, Advocates, Guru's, Journalists you really should stick to highlighting how Social Media affects our lifestyles, the great technology being developed, and stop focusing on the Advertising Side of things. Apple has made a killing selling technology that changes our lives and not by selling advertising. So again sell the technology instead of this Ad Revenue Model. Apple should be role model number 1!

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