Back from the Online Marketing Summit in San Diego, I heard one thing over and over again, “Social Networking isn’t profitable.” This came as a shock to me, because all I have read lately has been about how Social Networking will be the new trend in marketing, and how in order to succeed you must invest in Social Networking sites. I wondered then, why was it that so many industry professionals were hating on Social Networking?
In a recent newsletter sent to me by mThink, I read that a “Twitter Feeding Frenzy” was coming. If Social Networking isn’t profitable, why would a frenzy ensue? If such a “frenzy” did occur it could be credited to the media. With so many media outlets pushing the idea of marketing through Social Networking sites, it is only natural that the masses would follow.
The new statistics out on Twitter don’t help the Social Networking nay sayers. The new data released by Twitter states that the site currently processes 50 million tweets per day. That means that 600 tweets are being sent per second. The growth rate itself has been astonishing. In 2007 there were only 5,000 tweets per day, and 2009 saw an increase in 1,400%.
Rumor has it that Twitter also plans to launch its own ad platform. If true, there would be a mad rush by advertisers to the site. Facebook already provides an ad platform, with strict qualification barriers. The true impact on revenue has yet to be seen. In the minds of affiliates and advertisers, social networking has yet to prove itself as a huge revenue building enterprise. Until then, be wearing of investing in such sites.
Whether you believe that the media controls the masses, or that the masses shape the media, what we see, hear and read is a reflection of our times. Nowadays, news media outlets feature stories submitted by every day citizens. News stories are captured by cell phone cameras, and facts are collected from texts. The decrease in Newspaper circulation, and news program viewership, means that people are turning to websites and mobile updates for their news.
The invention of smart phones has only increased the amount of web surfing that goes on in everyday life. Whether it’s to hear celebrity gossip, or read ESPN updates, people are looking to their cell phones to supply them with information.
And when it comes to entertainment, even television has competition. TV commercials can be avoided with the help of video recorders, television programs can be watched online with minimal interruption, and movies can be downloaded to cell phones and iPods.
What does all of this mean for you? As a small business owner, advertising is your way to earn brand recognition, and earn revenue. When you’re competing against established organizations, you have to advertise on a large scale to earn the type of exposure you need. With the decrease in TV commercial effectiveness, business owners and advertisers have looked to online advertising. This has led to a surge in Online Advertising, but what about mobile advertising?
The new challenge for advertisers is going to be how to effectively market on, and utilize, cell phone applications. In the coming months we will be revisiting this topic, and with your feedback we hope to come up with a solution.
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