Just when you thought you had the hang of social media

2 Oct

The Big Three keep moving along…Facebook,Linkedin and Twitter are the dominant forces in social media. Their numbers keep rising, the technology is updated regularly and the engagement improves. But the world does not stand still. There are new kids arriving on the block all the time, trying to get a piece of the action.
The biggest player to enter the market last year was Google with +1. I have to say that it has not captured the imagination of the wider public. We are not getting asked about it while talking to clients. I believe that Google have made a fundamental error in trying to do too much. What is it for, who will use it, and why? The updates keep refering to how it will impact on SEO, but to those engaging in social media, that is miles away from what motivates them. Google seem to have missed the point that the channels that have succeeded are those that were selected and used by the public because they answered a need, or were easy and enjoyable to use. Facebook grew because people liked it, not because they had millions to spend on tech and marketing.
The most talked about new channel is Pinterest. It is fun, easy to use, social and visual. Put the Pin It app on your browser bar and you can save pictures from web sites on your boards. Why would you want to? If you are planning an event, say a wedding, and you are searching around the web for flowers, venues, dresses, table decorations and more, you can pin the pictures on a Pinterest Board you have titled My Wedding. The pictures and links to their source sites are saved for later reference. You can follow designers and wedding planners, and your friends. You can link to Facebook and Twitter. You can create numerous boards and enjoy filling them.
Thumb is fun too. You can ask and answer questions with a thumbs up or down, add comments to the answer, upload photos and link to your other social networks. We are already using it for snapshot research questions.
Have a look at these two, on line and more importantly, on mobile. Take a pic and ask if people like it on Thumb, and if they do, save it on Pinterest.
The marketing value has still to be determined, but remember, Facebook started out as a place to ‘hook up’ with other students at one university, Harvard, less than ten years ago…


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