Saturday, April 27, 2013

MySpace Syndrome: Shelf life of a Social Network

Drive Traffic From Social Media to your Website

MySpace was the kingpin in the world of social media not too long ago. People were herding them like crazy. It transformed the way people discovered original music and provided a stage for bands to promote their material to their audience. MySpace was lucrative for quite some time, but as each day passed you sensed they were advertising too strongly and the site full of disorderly ads. A couple of years pass by and social networks such as Facebook, Twitter comes into the fray and MySpace starts to loose users at an alarming rate. And now you hardly even talk about it. Facebook and Twitter seems to have learned from the mistakes from of the fallen giants, but do you have a guarantee on their shelf life? There is always a possibility the time and effort you spent on developing these profiles would go to waste.

During the recent past I've being hearing many arguments within the digital community in regards to the celebrity status social networks have reached. Will Facebook be the destroyer of the so called corporate Website? What does the future hold for social networking? Is there a possibility for 1 billion people to just vanish off from Facebook making it another MySpace?

As I have mentioned in my previous posts social media is a great way to generate buzz, awareness, and engagement for your brand. But it seems that many brands are getting carried away with the social media movement and are spending the lion portion of their online time developing their social presence and giving less priority to their website.

Around the world the amount of time spent on social media is increasing at a rapid speed especially among Mobile users. According to a report published by of Buddy Media: the state social media marketing in Asia-pacific (Jun 2012), the breakdown for social media presence for Asian companies are as follows.
•             89% are on Facebook whist 66% does have a Twitter account and 13% exist on Google+.

And based on site-reported data (SEP-2012), there are around 811 Million+ social media users in Asia. Notably 552M users from QZONE, 337M on TENCENT WEIBO, SINA WEIBO 324M and Facebook coming in forth with 229M. And analyst predicts Facebook and Twitter to continue their massive growth rates into world markets as well.

However what if one fine day you wake up and try to log-in to your company social profile and it no longer exist? Or you find your account to be deleted by someone? It’s hard to keep track of the constant changes pertaining to the terms and conditions in social networks, without your knowledge you could be suspended for violating them and your profile being scrapped.  
Going through some of the recent case studies in the social media circles you always come across the guerrilla tactics corporates had used to get their competitors left with nothing. An organized group can report your profile/company page for spam and you could your profile could be flagged.

Considering the above mentioned possibilities it’s always good to invest time on developing your website which you have ownership of. Social media accomplishment should be measured by calculating the amount of traffic it drives back to your website. Social Media should not be the main Web channel you use to communicate with your target audience. It should be used to support your website, not to replace it. Developing your social networks to reach customers is always useful but never viable in the long run when your website is being ignored all along the way.

Is social media just a passing fad? Can we find really significant ways to leverage it? I’d love to hear some more in the comments section below!


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