Paul Chaney of Conversational Media Marketing has a timely post today called The Trouble with Facebook Groups, in which he voices real concern about overextending oneself in the social media landscape.
This is definitely something I’ve been struggling with as well.
As I talk to people about blogging, podcasting, and social media sites (like the ones Paul mentions and other ones specific to their industry/audience), I often wonder if this is the best use of a business owner’s time.
I mean, like me, their entrepreneurs. Marketing has to be part of their day, but are they missing out on other opportunities? Are social media sites just overlapping on each other’s territories?
Not all (if even most) of these social media sites will survive for more than a year. Some will be bought out, others will fold, and still others will remain but become marginalized. We may never see another MySpace or Facebook.
I think it would be equally foolish to dismiss social media outright. People will continue to want to connect and network with other people, and social media platforms make that possible. In the early days of the Web no one thought businesses could succeed there, and of course they have.
The tactics that "social media experts" promote today will probably seem quaint or misguided tomorrow. At the same time, I don’t think taking out more ads or pushing products or services on someone in a social media setting will work, either.
Now’s the time for experimentation, risk, and an eye on the bottom line. Join, listen, participate, but don’t expect immediate results. Follow the news on social media and try and find success stories that you might emulate.
Social media may end up being more about networking–just like BNI groups–then about sales or marketing.
Or maybe not.