Social media – swimming pools and puppies

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You might say I am an old hack when it comes to digital marketing having been involved in it for more than 12 years. I don’t think there has ever been a development that has stimulated so much hype, hysteria and to be honest absolute tosh as social media.

So here you go – my first post of what feels like it might be a series about social. Here’s my ten pence worth!

Cards on the table straight away. Social media / social networking / web 2.0 is here to stay. It’s not going away and you can’t avoid it. I recently saw a presentation from Hitwise that highlighted that 1 in 7 of all page views in the UK was a Facebook page view – that’s more than Ebay, YouTube and Google combined. I don’t know about you, but I found that statistic staggering. What’s also interesting is that the usage of Facebook is still growing. In terms of time on the site, that has increased from 20 to 25 mins average – that’s not the stats of a platform that’s topped out.

So what does this mean for response marketing. Well firstly there is a measurable opportunity for you to promote your business and get some great results from social. I purposely use the term social as we’re not just talking Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Social for me is a term like advertising, it covers a multitude of ‘sins’ – the whole range of user generated content platforms and tools such as reviews, sharing websites and blogs.

What I wanted to highlight today was two things. Firstly, some people describe social as a train. They suggest you need to get on the train and get involved. I think that this analogy implies that if you don’t get on the train now then you’ll miss it. I think that’s a little over the top.

People used to say that about the web. If you don’t have a website today no doubt you are missing an opportunity. But equally, if you’re still in business then it wasn’t a matter of life and death that you had a site and you can still get involved with online marketing whenever you’re ready. I think the same is true of social. I think it’s better to compare social media to a swimming pool rather than a train leaving the station. The swimming pool isn’t going anywhere and you can jump in whenever it suits you. I’m not saying don’t do it, but don’t get drawn in to having to do it NOW! Those that are already in the pool will of course be enjoying the experience but it’s not for everyone today. (I’ll get round to some thoughts about jumping into the pool in another post.)

This brings me nicely to the second point I wanted to make. When you jump in the pool you don’t have to jump straight in the deep end. Equally you can get out reasonably easy so what have you got to lose. Get involved, give it a go having had a think about what you want to do. I read a comment recently in which it was said “If it doesn’t work don’t worry about killing it. It’s not a puppy!”. I think that’s a fair way of looking at it. So don’t be scared, don’t believe it’s not for you just make sure you know where you want to jump in and how deep that water is.

Swimming and diving lessons next time maybe!

» Online Marketing Comment » Social media – swimming pools...
On 27 November 2009

2 Responses to Social media – swimming pools and puppies

  1. Mark Dolby says:

    Nice post and I would have to agree. My first question when asked whether to jump in by a client was always "Have you got anything to say?". Nevertheless I was often frustrated by clients that weren’t willing to have a go due to a general aversion to UGC and all things social despite the offers of an education in the subject. There are are often some very low cost easy wins to be had if you look in the right places.

  2. web designer hampshire says:

    This is so interesting and informative blog. I like this social media networking ideas. Because today time is many people use this technology. So I think this is so nice post for this good inform.

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