Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Revealing The People Powering Social Media

LM Comment: This article conains a lot of very useful usage data on all of the major social networking sites. Click-thru to the full story on the link below for all of the details.

April 12, 2009: summarized from Social Computing Journal -- Social Networks are among the most powerful examples of socialized media. They create a dynamic ecosystem that incubates and nurtures relationships between people and the content they create and share.

As these communities permeate and reshape our lifestyle and how we communicate with one another, we're involuntarily forcing advertisers and marketers to rapidly evolve how they vie for our attention.

Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Yelp, and other online communities transformed the regimen and practice of marketing "at" people into an opportunity to engage and interact with us, on our terms. It is the zeitgeist of socialized media and it's manifesting into an obsession for branding, advertising, "viral," marketing, and communications experts and professionals worldwide.

But, the people who define each network are reticent to the hollow attempts of faceless friending and in-network marketing. Many businesses are building social channels to broadcast messages in a one to many, top-down practice that not only prevents relationship building, but impedes any hope of cultivating communities and empowering brand ambassadors.

As marketers, it's your responsibility to peel back the layers of each network to observe and eventually interact with the very people you wish to reach. Each network possesses a vibrant culture and ecosystem that is powered by context and connected by influential social graphs.

While nothing beats anthropological fieldwork and observation, let's take a look at numbers behind the top social networks to get a better picture of network engagement and user demographics. Remember, it's how you interpret these numbers combined with an understanding of the real world needs and experiences of the people you're attempting to engage that determines the success or failure of your social media program. They are not demographics, they are not statistics, they are not avatars, nor are they waiting with baited breath for you to friend or market at them and their network friends. This data represents whole numbers and is not representative of the individuals that are looking for resources and guidance, and in turn, will help you participate as a community member, and not as a traditional marketer.

So, how will you use this information to engage more effectively and genuinely?

To view all of the data click: http://tinyurl.com/ckcpyv

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