Getting Lost in the Social Media Clutter

Posted by on October 11, 2010 in Internet Marketing, Social Networking [ 2 Comments ]

social media compassIt’s not breaking news that companies have shifted much of their brand management and brand awareness efforts to social networking sites. Facebook pages and Twitter accounts are so easy to set up that your company; whether B2B or B2C, is not harnessing its full potential unless it is actively engaging on social media platforms. The market space however, has become so competitive that it is requiring a great deal of extra effort to make a name for your company on these sites. Augie Ray, a writer for Forrester Blogs believes shifting trends in consumer and business social media are resulting in social media behaviors plateauing. We are seeing so much social media push that it is no longer a blue ocean for businesses in many industries.

It is far fetched to render Twitter and Facebook as dead as direct mail, but the clutter poses a major challenge for businesses. To beat your competition you must either do what others are not doing, or do it better. There are a many ways to do “it” better, and creating valuable creative content catered to engaging with your target market is widely regarded as the backbone to building a social media community.

Social media communities are much different in younger generations than they are in older generations. The generational gaps between Gen Y and Gen X is important for marketers and small businesses to take note of. Nate Elliott of Forrester Blog reports that the average Facebook user has 135 friends in conjunction with Gen Y’s 220 Facebook friend average.

However, not every target market is so gluttonous with their social media use as Gen Yers. Gen Xers use social media just as often as Gen Y, but they are more comfortable with less “fluff” (unnecessary friends and messages). Jacqueline Anderson, Consumer Insights Analyst for Forrest Research believes “Gen X is the master of maximizing the functional benefits of technology. In many activities, Gen Xers closely rival Gen Yers in adoption. For example, both spend about 17 hours online a week. But Gen Xers have mastered the art of using digital tools in a more functional manner, especially if it supports their family’s needs”.  How will businesses sort through the mess and become effective in their social media marketing, as Gen Y is overloaded with constant clutter?

Social media has evolved and users are becoming more and more sensitive to whom they trust. Nate Elliott says “While users don’t always pay attention to marketers on social platforms, they do pay attention to each other.”  It seems that social media has reached its late majority adoption phase and marketers are targeting users that have adopted social media and aren’t yet overwhelmed by it. Playing where others aren’t playing can be effective. Elliott believes using email and traditional methods may be more effective than social media at this point.

Image Credit: WellXGood

2 thoughts on “Getting Lost in the Social Media Clutter

  1. avatarViewcaster

    Promoting on social media, especially social networking sites, has received so much attention lately that I’m afraid these sites are going to become awash with non-relevant, low value messages by these marketers. Targeted email marketing will probably hold an edge in effectiveness for some time.

  2. avatarThad Martin

    Matt- interesting comments about playing where others aren’t playing. You’re spot on that while social media has evolved in usage and demographics, users are indeed becoming more and more sensitive to who they trust and often times it’s loyalists of a same or similar brand. Although driving buzz is important to gain a competitive edge in the social media arena, driving it with thoughtful, important, and insightful content is what’s going to continue to maximize the benefits that social media will give you. As more fans adapt, like, or follow your content, your site is only as good as what you’re saying, and more importantly, what those that you’re speaking to are retaining.

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