It’s worth noting that, even though we’ve covered the major tourist sites on the social networking map, we could go on for quite a while longer. Not only are there all kinds of other social media sites and platforms out there, but more are springing up all the time.
Should any of them have a place in your online marketing mix?
For most companies, most of the time, the answer is probably not. It isn’t that none of these sites offer anything of value, or aren’t fun to use, but that the real goal should be leveraging your time and money. Why spend an hour a week updating a site that carries only a thousandth traffic of Facebook or Twitter? Wouldn’t your time be better spent elsewhere?
In most cases, it would. The potential customers you are trying to reach are all meeting one another – and vendors just like you – on the major sites, so you should concentrate your efforts there. Still, here are a few things to keep in mind when checking out second-tier social media sites:
Lots of them are fun. From picture sharing sites to those that promote random chatter, checking out new ideas and social networking can be a great way to kill five or ten minutes. But, as we mentioned, it’s probably not a good idea to make a habit of it if you have a profitable business to run.
Industry specific social media sites are popping up. As some of these gain steam, their importance as marketing mediums might drastically change. Just as LinkedIn carries far more weight than it would seem to just based off its membership numbers – because the men and women using it are professionals who tend to be good buying prospects – so might some of the smaller industry-based social media sites follow the same track. It only takes two or three major new buyers for most companies to feel a noticeable change, so having even 1000 of them in one place can make it a good hunting around.
Social networking is always changing. One of the downsides in writing about social media is that your work is virtually always outdated – even this blog series which goes straight online. The field is always evolving; not only are new sites, ideas, and concepts popping up every day, but the ways we use the ones we have is constantly changing, too. You can be sure that a year from now, many of the ways people use and marketing sites like Facebook and Twitter will be the same, but there’ll be some new avenues and tactics.
The point is that you have to keep your eyes open and constantly tweak your approach. Do what works today, but also keep your eyes out for new sites, new methods, that are going to be profitable tomorrow.