Let’s be real, not many people really understand what’s going on with social media. There are large numbers of companies that will sell you tons of analytics and great ideas but how many of these folks can tell you what really works.
I don’t pretend to be an expert on this but the lights are slowly coming on in my world.
The short version of this is we’re now in an infinite universe of channels where there is an almost infinite number of interest groups organized around their preference for information in any given channel. And the interaction between channels is minimal.
Multiple Channels of Choice
Let me give you an example. If you happen to be interested in gardening, you have multiple options in channels. From list servs (email lists) to forums (still existing on bulletin boards) to social media groups across any number of platforms from Ning to Facebook. Toss in those who prefer Twitter and Youtube to those who hang out at magazine channels for even more options.
Then you can break each of these areas into garden interest-groups. So the rock gardeners have several functional areas, the Facebook garden groups are legion and there are a growing number of them on Google+ etc etc.
Each interest area generates a social group on the preferred social media channel of choice. And individuals gravitate to those interest areas on their preferred social media platform.
And any individual can find kindred spirits to talk about their topic in gardening (containers, perennials, writing etc) no matter which social media group they prefer. And there is little reason for them to change channels if they’re happy (social inertia)
But while it may not be actually infinite, it’s large enough and diverse enough that a single individual can’t participate in them all.
My own experience with the reluctance to move across social media platforms has me rethinking the entire nature of social media and how I interact with fast moving information streams. I’ve found readers want the information in their preferred stream and want it “now”. So Facebook users want information delivered personally to them when they ask the question – they don’t want to be referred to a web-link to either ask the question or get the answer.
And while many folks say this this is not true for them, my own experience is there’s enough people operating in this way to make it an operating rule of thumb. It’s the old Fritz Perls “I want what I want and I want it now” thought operating in real time. (I want the perennial flower information on the social media channel of my choice and I want it now)
The issue of course is where a creative spends their social media time – which platform and which group – to both socialize and market their products. And that’s what I’m rethinking now
I would really love to know how you folks look at social media differently or the same as I do. And how you handle it?
Care to share?