With plenty of razzmatazz, at least one A-list celebrity user and a stunning new design, Myspace reintroduced itself into the social media market last week. The question asked by every journalist, every blogger and anyone else who’s showed an interest was, ‘can it topple Facebook or Twitter?’ It’s the natural question, though they would never admit it, it’s probably the ultimate goal. But is that a fair question?
Facebook and Twitter aren’t the only social networks at the moment. Myspace may not need to climb to the top, it can just join in. That’s an important thing for marketers to keep in mind when building a social media strategy, Facebook and Twitter might be the headlines but they’re not the whole story. There are other networks out there, with plenty of opportunities for brand building and lead generation.
Even as you read this, there are Redditors shuddering at thought of the content curation network being described as social media. Reddit users see it as so much more than that, to them it’s the front page of the Internet. It’s a place where content creators and curators can be lifted high on users shoulders or ridiculed all the way into oblivion. It’s a dangerous place for marketers.
But a Reddit savvy social media strategy could make a brand online. Reddit users get away with calling it the front page of the Internet because it’s home to some of the web’s most influential users. Just make sure you know what you’re getting into and only post Reddit friendly content, because Reddit users will use that influence to break you as quickly as they can make you.
Most people have a funny relationship with YouTube. Everybody’s heard of it, everyone knows it’s a place where people upload videos. But not many people truly understand it. YouTube is actually a hugely successful video sharing social network and a genuine high quality media channel. YouTube themselves fund ‘partners’ who produce regular videos and are paid as employees. There are also independent networks that employee people to post video content to YouTube.
It’s an industry, not an archive of LOL cats and drugged toddlers. With that in mind, it can also be the catalyst for a successful social media strategy. YouTube users make more social interactions per day than any other network outside Facebook and Twitter. They share, comment and engage religiously, which makes it the perfect place for a commercial brand.
The social media big gun that hasn’t really fired yet. Google+ has the makings of the world’s biggest social network. Backed by most people’s go to search, browser and mobile OS provider, it should be leading the way. But it came to the party late and you don’t go to a party because it’s the coolest in town. You go because your friends are there. At the moment, your friends probably aren’t on Google+. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t include it in social media strategy though.
For a lot of marketers, social media strategy starts with Facebook and ends on Twitter, with a quick nod to LinkedIn. Those networks have huge user bases and absolutely have to be the first words on your strategy. They shouldn’t be the last ones though. With the power behind the new Myspace, you have to assume they will make some headway. And each of these other networks create unique opportunities for social media strategy. In social media, there’s always something new, just don’t forget the opportunities that are already here.
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