Social Network Profliferation and Migration: Good or Bad for Marketers?

Do you use any social networks as part of your marketing, human capital sourcing, or simply as a tool for understanding market trends? If you don’t now, you probably will be soon.

I keep seeing more and more types of social networking plays – from the public platforms like Ning (who just got some new funding) trying to be the next Facebook – to private network builders like Lithium. There are a lot of destinations – which begs the question – where should you as a marketer be spending your time and/or money?

Proliferation of social networks is mimicking the vast amount of trade publications and consumer periodicals of the past few decades. We are simply seeing a parallel of the media market in digital form in some ways. The downside is the “bang for your buck” that you get simply advertising or connecting through vast networks like Facebook, or even leveraging huge networks like Twitter.

But of course, as smaller networks pop up, there arises the opportunity for marketers to better segment and target their energies and resources. I argue that we will be seeing more purpose-built networks with sponsors or advertisers that fit the bent of the network.

So, it is a bit of the good and bad that comes with marketing in the 2.0 world. And while there are a lot of easy slam dunks when it comes to reaching large somewhat captive audiences, things change. Just as anyone in the know these days would denigrate Mysapce in favor of Facebook – some mass network will eclipse Facebook in the future. The trick is to stay ahead of the curve, as clinging too long to a fading destination may reflect poorly on your brand.

But again, just like marketing in the glory days of print – it is all about doing your best as a marketer to judge where your resources are best allocated.

2 thoughts on “Social Network Profliferation and Migration: Good or Bad for Marketers?

  1. I think good for good marketers and bad for lazy ones. If you know your audiences, listen and converse (not blast at) them you’ll find niche sites appropriate for your niche communications.
    If you can’t be bothered doing anything other than rented list direct mail and mass media advertising, these will be irrelevant and the conversations they spawn un-noticed by your brand.
    BTW i would personally avoid getting involved with any un-moderated groups. They are usually trouble.

  2. As a Marketing Manager for a startup, I know full well that social networks are a great way to drive traffic. In fact, the majority of our traffic is originally derived from social networks and social media. It is extremely important to note that 2.0 marketing is extremely fluid. What works one day may not work the next. Like Rebecca said, this is bad for lazy marketers because it is difficult to create a formulaic campaign that has any sort of longevity. Marketers need to spend time scrutinizing the analytics and seeing where the best ROI is coming from (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn Groups, Blogs, etc.).

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