Which social network to choose?
Everyday these days there is the birth of a new social network — not forgetting the birth of the new and powerful addition of Google+, launched a month ago and which now has 20 million users. It seems that entrepreneurs around the world, in different languages and sectors, are splicing and dicing to find ways to garner a monetizable social media network. Some initiatives provide new functionalities (e.g. better UI on mobile), others create a vertical segment (e.g. dogster for dog lovers), others yet are just copycats hoping to pick up some of the slack (for example, via a local adaptation).
For marketers, as they approach their digital marketing strategy, the challenge looks like this:
- Go for the big ones, but face the task of having to cut through the noise and inevitably pay higher fees (in line with the volume and growth of those networks)
- Bet on a new social media network where there is not (yet) the critical mass
For the big brands that have more money to burn – and who are typically coming to the game late – the logical answer is to join the “majors”… Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Angry Bird networks. To cut through the clutter and gain attention (and fans), the all-too-easy answer is to pay for Google and Facebook Ads. But, as the noise climbs, so too shall the cost of doing business on those networks. Moreover, the effectiveness of “paid traffic” will likely decline as social and “sticky” content will increasingly have primacy.
The new marketer profile
It takes another type of profile – and style of marketing – to target the smaller, up & comers. Companies need to identify, hire and groom employees who are plugged in, know what is up and coming, willing to take gambles, and to learn the new ropes. For this, there is no other recipe than being “out there.”
The “easy” route is hitting the big networks. This avenue basically takes more material resources. The secondary route is messier, less robust; but, if the alignment is right (ie the objectives are set correctly and the editorial line is well crafted), it can pay off.