Many businesses are interested in employing social media to their benefit but there are a number of challenges that make social media a challenging proposition.
One of them is making social media sustainable. As exciting as it can be to start using Facebook, Twitter and other popular social media websites, excitement usually wears off real fast and many businesses struggle to sustain their social media efforts.
When you read a news story about social media or come across a job posting for a 'social media expert', chances are the tools of social media will be front and center.
Twitter, Facebook, MySpace. If you had no exposure to social media, you'd probably assume that these popular services were the end all and be all of social media.
What is a 'social media expert'? What qualifications does one reasonably need before being paid to assist businesses with social media campaigns?
Despite the fact that there are plenty of self-proclaimed 'social media experts' out there, these are two questions for which we don't have good answers.
As Facebook's unbelievable growth continues unabated, the company is increasingly finding itself scrutinized by critics who are asking a simple question: 'where's the money'?
Even though Facebook is generating hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, its costs are growing rapidly and there are various unsubstantiated rumors that the company is on a potentially disastrous financial path.
Facebook has over 175m users. MySpace has over 125m. Twitter's traffic has grown at over 1,000%.
All three services are considered to be extremely valuable and their popularity is where the value is at. With their users, they're worth hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars. Without them, they're worth close to nothing.
When it comes to innovation, look to the non-profits. When you're short of marketing megabucks, necessity can be the mother of some pretty interesting inventions. Consider the Obama campaign, or PETA.org's fascinating forays into viral marketing.
Amnesty International UK has just announced a new initiative that takes into account a factor that's huge in email marketing, but little used in social media: timing. At 1:10 p.m. on Friday, they're asking supporters to drop a coordinated social media bomb to raise awareness about violence against women in the UK.
Why Friday, why 1:10, you ask? Relevance. Friday March 6 is International Womens Day, and one in ten is the ratio of women in Britain who are victims of rape or violence.
It's hard to say that Rupert Murdoch's $550m acquisition of MySpace in 2005 wasn't a savvy move. Last year alone, despite missing revenue targets, MySpace pulled in more revenue than Murdoch paid to acquire the popular social network.
But all does not appear to be well at the world's second-largest social network. Despite the fact that under News Corp., MySpace has become the
best-monetized social network, it has lost significant ground amongst
consumers. Last year Facebook surpassed it as the world's largest social network
and it's poised to become the largest social network in the United
States as well, a country that MySpace had previously dominated.
Mike Grehan, host of the Search Engine Strategies Expo London, wrote a comment on ClickZ last week that made quite a statement.
That statement: "SEO's glory days are over. And we should get over it. Nobody is online
looking for content."
In this rough economy, it's now apparent to just about everyone that marketers are cutting back and looking to get the most bang for their buck.
Many expected this would be a boon to search engines since paid search advertising is easy to measure, quantify and analyze for ROI.
Social networks have come a long way since Friendster, MySpace and Facebook jump-started one of the hottest online trends in the past decade.
A new Pew Internet & American Life Project report indicates that social networks have made great inroads with adults in the United States but still are predominantly the domain of teenagers and young adults.