The Road Ahead – March 2009

A Netpop Research study as reported in a Center for Media Research Brief concluded, “market trends and customer opinion are being shaped by end users more rapidly and with greater impact on business than ever before as an entirely new form of leisure develops around talking and sharing, providing opinions and perspectives… and suggests that websites need to connect directly with users or the users will create their own venues.” The study also found:

  • 105 million Americans contribute to social media
  • Social networking has grown 93% since 2006
  • 7 million Americans are “heavy” social media contributors (6+ activities) who connect with 248 people on a ‘one to many’ basis in a typical week
  • 54% of micro-bloggers post or “tweet” daily
  • 72% of micro-bloggers under age 18 post or “tweet” daily

Who are the people with the time to Twitter, tweet, peep, blog, mini-blog, Facebook, get LinkedIn and generally play the Internet like a piano? You may be one according to Steve Rubel, Sr. Vice President of Edelman Direct. As reported by Karl Greenberg in Marketing Daily, Rubel told an audience, “We are amazed at the number of people who view social media and traditional media as two different things. But 75% of newspaper sites now let people comment, and 100% have blogs. The elephants and zebras have mated, and it’s all one species.”

Who are the people with the time to Twitter, tweet, peep, blog, mini-blog, Facebook, get LinkedIn and generally play the Internet like a piano?

He went on to say: “As the economy tightens up, people are recognizing that reputation matters. We are seeing more workers flock to social media who say they have to be there to build their own brand as an insurance policy or escape clause. Corporations should figure out who those people are, and rather than fire them, give them a soapbox. People should figure out who, in their companies, could be personal brands. Give your ‘all stars’ independence–let them know what the ropes are.”

Max Kalehoff elaborates on that thought in an Online Spin column. He sees employee online celebrities building relationships and trusts with customers with the downside being, “A lack of personal optimization can be a serious disadvantage in a down economy. With unemployment rising, job seekers who are highly visible to employers have the upper hand. Those who are not discoverable don’t exist. No wonder LinkedIn is seeing record traffic and a surge in interpersonal recommendations.”

Kalehoff notes there are mature services and software to help businesses optimize but “scattered tools on the Web an individual can use to positively influence his or her personal search-engine reputation. Consider any number of free social-networking sites and publishing tools: LinkedIn and Twitter, as well as any of the blogging platforms like Blogger or WordPress. But these tools are not part of any cohesive or sanctioned optimization strategy. And, collectively, they all require significant personal investment to learn, activate and maintain.”

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Kalehoff said, “But these tools are not part of any cohesive or sanctioned optimization strategy. And, collectively, they all require significant personal investment to learn, activate and maintain.”

    I disagree. How can this be true if every social marketing webinar and seminar lately is about these very social networks? These sites may not specifically increase your search engine rank (cause most of the links placed are “no follow” links) but they can and do result in increased traffic. What’s really funny is that these presentations by experts, focused at car/auto marketers don’t mention the car-based social networks. Why not?

    Also, they’re not at all hard to learn! WordPress is not so different than MS Word if you stick to the basics.

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