While we often hear about mainstream sites like Facebook and Twitter, there are literally hundreds of social networks out there. You might figure this to be a good thing for marketers, but according to some new research and expert opinions, it could actually be the opposite. The root of the problem appears to be the growing number of options, or as Josh Wolford of WebProNews calls it, “saturation”.
Research recently conducted by Forrester Research hints that because social media is such a phenomenon across the world, there is little to no room left for new competitors to enter the market. In fact, the firm is predicting that the market will become saturated to the point that some of the smaller, lesser known services eventually fall off the map and cease to exist. Other research shows that users are getting burnt out, so even though social saturation may not be something marketers need to fear, it could be something they need to start addressing.
Understand Your Audience
If your business has a target audience, most of the people that make up that audience are probably interacting with some type of social site on a regular basis. However, it is important to understand that audience and more importantly, discover where those people prefer to hang out online. By conducting a simple survey on your website or via email, you could find out that most of your customers and prospects are active members of Facebook. With this information handy, you can invest your efforts on engaging them with a Facebook page instead of wasting time with Twitter, LinkedIn, or another site they are less likely to engage with.
Mix up Your Marketing
There is no denying what an effective marketing tool social media can be. With that said, it works best when combined with other marketing tactics. This could be traditional methods such as direct mail, or even digital channels like email. It’s that careful balancing act between different platforms that will help both you and your audience avoid the burnout of social saturation. Do this successfully, and both parties will be able to benefit from the best of multiple worlds.
Choose Your Spots Wisely
We have already established the fact that there are a plethora of social networking sites to choose from. There’s really nothing stopping you from creating a presence for your brand wherever you like, but it is wise to focus on just a few, rather than try to conquer the entire social world. Whether it is Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter or another combination, limiting the number of sites you target will enable you to maintain a sharper focus and more importantly, prevent you from burning out too quickly.
Experts often say that social media is here to stay, but still one has wonder if this global phenomenon will ever eventually wear out its welcome. For now, it’s still all the rage, so by monitoring usage trends and reacting accordingly, social marketers can continue to benefit from its popularity.