Be social!

As online marketing is my game in life, I must say that I am a little bit infographic’ed out with staggering digital and social media usage facts. Every day of my life I am bombarded with stats that are supposed to send my jaw southward – it can be tedious.
After a long week of research in latest trends in digital marketing I asked myself this: “How do we prevent social media corroding away at the time that we have on planet Earth?” This for me is a much more important question than “Will Facebook suffer the same fate as Myspace?” Now that I’ve organised my social media usage in terms of when I use it and what I want out of it I am much happier that it isn’t sappping my life!
A recent webminar from Comscore stated that in April 2011, the internet population spent 1.8 trillion minutes online with one in six visiting a social networking website. From a consumer point of view, how much of this activity is actually ‘social’? Many people use the big social sites for work tools just as much if not more than for actual socialising. For example, a great deal of Twitter usage is voyeuristic information seeking – social search.
So how else will consumers socialise online in the future? Blurring online and offline is the key. I find Foursquare check in events really impressive as a simple, fun way of introducing a game playing element to an event already in the calendar. This new level of interaction can be done in a really warm, personal way and is big in professional Basketball and Grid iron. Then flip it on its head – online social clubs at a local level (Hooleytime in London is a great example) can market their social events membership and then tie in Twitter/Foursquare activity whilst on a holiday break. When members really become integrated into that community, Facebook groups can depict this new social relationship and there is no brand admin posting everyday waiting to see if they can create social media engagement with their consumers.
In summary, don’t get sucked in to living your days on social media sites. Enjoy these powerful superb new services for what they are but define set amount of time away from smartphone apps and social websites. And be social!

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