5 Reasons Why Social Media Needs Us to Ask “What’s In It For Me?”
How many social media services have you signed up for?
Could you teach a friend how to use every service you’ve signed up for?
A recent study by Pew found that 83% of Millennials online are using social networking sites. The Millenial generation includes ages 18-33. Only two years ago (12/2008), 67% of Millennials were using social sites. Millenials consist of 35% of the entire online population.
Think about that… there was a 16% growth in a population that is over a third of total Internet users. That is a massive shift. So massive, that there is a bunch of rah rah and fluff within social media. A new product is released and all us early adopting Millennials run out and try it.
OneForty is the best source I could find of aggregating many of the social tools out there. Let’s look at a few segments…
- There are 117 different ways to checkin to your local gas station or restaurant with location apps.
- Currently, I can access Twitter with one of 285 different apps.
- I have 61 choices for shortening URLs.
- Track your brand with one of 125 brand tracking apps.
- Social CRM is real and you can choose from 117 different apps for that.
If we keep using a little of everything, we will continue to be over-saturated with hundreds of different social media apps, tools and services to choose from. We need to start finding the benefits for ourselves and letting the non-beneficial services disappear. Here are five reasons we need to start asking “what’s in it for me?”
1. You can’t drink from a fire hose
We have too many tools, companies, consultants and options today. It is impossible as a practitioner to use everything out there to find what works best. In an entirely unregulated industry, this won’t change unless we force it to change. Pick what works and has value and ditch the rest.
2. Competition leads to better products
The more selective we are, the more power we have. By not buying or using everything, the proverbial fit will survive and evolve to become even better. Things of little or no value will ride off into the sunset. Competition won’t scare the good people, companies or products away. They’ll embrace the challenge. They’ll listen to their users. They’ll take that advice and make their “stuff” even better.
3. A Master of One > A Jack of all Trades
One of the best criticisms I’ve received in my career was that I had a hard time saying no. I tried to do everything. Be involved in everything. I’m information hungry by nature. But, are we stretching ourselves too thin? If we are, our quality of work will immediately decline. Using 50 tools poorly just makes you an idiot. Being a subject matter expert for one or two makes it easy for you to get paid.
It is great to be well rounded and understand lots of things. But, at the end of the day… we have to absolutely dominate something. If you can do both, well played friend. If not, pick your thing and crush it.
4. Accountability is needed
There is way too much anonymity in social media and new marketing these days. Gradually, the top performers (consultants, strategists, services, apps, tools, etc.) will rise to the top… but this takes some digging currently. Until there is more accountability, mediocrity will continue to hide and those not doing their due diligence may end up with a negative perception of the industry. I’m not advocating that we hand-hold folks through their decision making process, but by being more selective and using / sharing the choice few… it tightens up and refines itself.
5. Social media is a business and needs to be treated like one
This is a fun environment to be in. Everyone thinks that social media and community management is a dream job where we play Candyland and check-in at all the cool restaurants and conferences and hang out in trendy cities. While some of that may be true, this is bizness man. Most of us are measured. Most of us do have accountability. Most of us have targets that we have to hit to get paid. Most of us don’t even have 100% of our time dedicated to social. Weeding out the crap in the industry will help illustrate the fact that social media is real, it works (and there are ways to show it) and there are people busting their humps to continue to take it even further.
What social media tools or services can you eliminate by asking “What’s In It For Me?”
An example: I’ve phased out several of the location apps I used to frequent. There isn’t really a need for me to check-in on four or five different apps anymore. I wasn’t getting any benefit there. There are times where certain LBS apps are extremely helpful for me (major conferences), but daily use just wasn’t cutting it. I’ve lost at least seven mayorships in the past month alone. :) And it hasn’t cost me a penny…
Why I was totally wrong about Quora and now love it
I was skeptical.
I have too many things to keep up with already.
Half the time I suck at the things I do keep up with.
I routinely fail at Twitter and checked my Google Reader and Tumblr for the first time in three months today.
I like good marketing books as much as the zombie kid likes turtles. I asked this simple question.
Now, I honestly can’t keep up. I’ve had incredible responses in minutes. Including Dave Morin, Ramit Sethi and other folks that I look up to. Minutes.
I’m getting an update notification per sentence typed in this post.
Which leads me to my main point…
I am an idiot.
I refer to myself as a dumb guy, but I honestly doubted Quora. Purely for intelligent Q&A alone… this is gold. Consider me sold, hooked, signed, sealed, delivered. This is awesome.
Now I have the best marketing and product book list there is and it is being added to as I type.
The Top 10 Marketing Posts of 2010
2010 was an insanely productive and busy year, both here on the blog and at work. There were more comments in 2010 than all other years combined and Phonebooth was named one of the top business services of the year by BNET.
Thank you to everyone that has taken the time to read a post, comment, share and even disagree with something that has been posted here. It’s always fun to converse with like minds about marketing.
With that being said…
The Top 10 Posts of 2010
Funny how any article where you expose yourself (figuratively of course) and are personal is always successful. There is a definite correlation.
This was the birth of The Great Phonetree of Knowledge. A really fun SMB experiment that you should check out with short videos answering small business marketing and social media questions. As always, another fun and productive Social Fresh event.
We’ve all complained on Twitter once we’ve reached a certain frustration level. Some companies handle this wonderfully and save customers in the process. This post shares a few of my experiences with social customer support.
Our SEO genius at Phonebooth (Al Scillitani) and I get along great and work together on almost every outward facing communication. But, there are times when optimization and SEO consideration kills the fun marketer inside of me and the lust for a catchy and descriptive title that search engines may hate.
I like taking risks. Luckily, enough people voted for my preso idea and I was fortunate enough to educate everyone on the value of my kind of dumb guy. Essentially, you need someone who is “dumb” enough to listen without proposing solutions to truly meet your customer needs and expectations.
I love zombies. You love zombies. We all love zombies. Sears embraced this around Halloween and created one of the best microsites I have ever seen… a zombie-themed e-commerce site with great supporting content.
You can hate me, but social isn’t for everyone. If you have a crappy business or product… social media won’t fix it. It will help publicize the fact that you are crappy though. I compiled ten indicators that you may need to avoid social media.
Another personal, but sincere and authentic post. I’ve met great friends online (yes, in real life) and the more you let people get to know you… the stronger the bond you’ll have with your blog community.
I had a great tour of Zappos at Blogworld and honestly, didn’t anticipate the popularity this post would receive. It was featured on MarketingProfs.com and their 60 second business tip to their large email newsletter for that particular week. As companies, we have to find something that makes us sticky. Something that defines us. Something that others will be like “I need me some of that.” If we don’t have that, we’re competing on price and fighting for business in the red ocean. This is referred to as “the purple cow” by Seth Godin.
and the most popular post of 2010 is…
My wife actually read this post. As did many friends, colleagues and folks I didn’t know. It was me trying to make myself more accountable. I’m not perfect and you aren’t either. But, the rat race for corporate success should never impact the closeness we have with those we love. I admire the folks that live by this mantra. This is an area we can never master and must always keep ourselves in check.
Thank you all.
Thanks for putting up with my rants, my complaints, my bad posts, my mediocre posts and for finding the patience to wait it out until I write something that speaks to you. I’ll continue to work diligently to produce quality content in 2011 and would appreciate it if you stay with me another year.
I truly appreciate everyone who takes the time to read this. Thank you.