Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Social Media Coverage

Deep into researching my book on search marketing, I'm reading a number of interesting books and articles on the convergence of search and social. Perhaps the most developed of these is +Rob Garner's Search and Social: The Definitive Real-Time Guide to Content Marketing. It's a fascinating read, and I suggest checking it out.

Rob's thesis is that search and social need to be thought of as a unit in modern day marketing efforts. By social, he means the electronic linkages that connect us more and more in our everyday lives. Penetration rates for social media so defined may be as high as 92% for the US adult population.

My own view is this: While the vast majority of us may be on social media, what percentage of our lives does it cover? When might social media connections be relevant?

  • The first question is significant. If you're on social media but not that plugged in, then it's not having a large, direct impact on you. 
  • Further, if you're not consistently contributing to social media, then the picture of you gained from social media is not going to be too accurate.
  • Second, social media connections might be relevant in only a fairly narrow band of activities, at least as they relate to friend networks. Do you want to know everything about your friends' tastes? Do you want them knowing yours?
  • I suspect friend networks come most into play when seeking out social engagement. They come less into play in areas where you may want a more authoritative, experience-based opinion.