Social Media – the Emperor is Dead! Long Live the Emperor!

Previously, on The Wordmonger’s Blog. (This is a knowing, and thus highly irritating, nod in the general direction of ER. Sorry.)

I posted a link to an article from Marketing Week which, in essence, gave the lie to the whole social media thing, by providing user and audience figures for the more popular social networking sites. Which, unsurprisingly, showed that even at their height, these media actually reach very small numbers of people. I know that people will make the point that it’s about quality, not quantity (of your conversations), but I’d respond by saying that all too often you don’t know who you’re talking to so how can you be sure you’re having a quality conversation?

Anyway, as I was exploring some dusty corners of t’internet (trying to skip to the last page and find out what happens in the end) I came across a blog post that explored the whole nature of social networks – specifically LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter – and their lifecycle and thus their usefulness and value. The basic conclusion reached was that social networks are like any other fad – they’re cyclical, they come and go and no matter how exciting they seem at the time, they’re replaced by something else. This to me links in with the piece about social media being overhyped in terms of reach and influence and – to clarify things – I posted this reply:

“Refreshingly, I find the conclusion to be – and I hope I’ve not got the sticky end of the stick – that social networks are like any other fad. They start ‘underground’, there are ‘early adopters’ (who get some real benefit), there are those who arrive before the peak (if you like)and mop up the remaining spilled drops of value, and there are those who pile in too late, play with it for a bit and then discard it.

 And – another nail in the coffin of social media (if you like) – the audience figures at the time of implosion are not, I’m afraid, terribly sizeable. So if you’re someone who’s thinking of using social media as a marketing tool, a) you’re probably too late and b) you’d be better off with a proper strategy.”

Of course, what this means – if you follow it to its logical conclusion, is that we are about due another next big thing. Twitter is already outliving its usefulness – and that’s another point – once the ‘fad cycle’ starts, it just gets quicker and quicker and quicker – and there’s a gap in the market for something new for the masses and the marketers to leap on to.

So I was delighted to find this on msn today:

Which tells me the future is AudioBoo! Embrace AudioBoo everyone!

Oh no……………too late. The very fact that I know about it means it’s already yesterday’s medium.

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