There seems to be this battle going on out here in LaLaLand over whether the internet is for ONLY social use or for commercial use only. On one side are the people who feel the internet is a school yard sandbox to be used to post high school reunion notices and their latest conquest on Ingress . On the other side are the businesses who see the internet ONLY as a high definition billboard to post non-stop keyword loaded promotions which are completely void of any social interaction since they have been told this method of marketing produces the only ROI the internet will produce. The question becomes…Which way do you use the internet?
Battle of the Social Space
The one thing that fails people who take a side in this battle is their lack of understanding that the internet is equally for both social and commercial. If you been on the internet for more than ten minutes you noticed there are times where the internet looks like the advertising campaigns for the big brands are winning. Then there are other times where the little lady with the 20 year old cat coughing hair balls wins. And who is monitoring the war between social content and commercial promotions? The media groups for one, but overall we..yes, you and me… are unfortunately forced into monitoring these campaigns as they flash up into the social streams. We click off what we do not want to see..or just move over to a site with less intrusion into our time.
Chicken or Egg
It is easy to say the internet, and the social networks residing inside the internet, would not be here today if it was not for the money making potential the internet as a whole presents business. It is also easy to counter that assumption that if it was not for the trillions of people…we are told they are all real people…who use the internet for one reason or another, there would be no interest for businesses to want to be on the internet. Thus..the battle continues over what sometimes seems to be an entitlement issue.
This results in the business world to say..I spend trillions of dollars each year buying online advertisement and search engine placement so I am entitled to spam the social spaces until the consumer pukes. In counter to that attitude the Social Only community says… If the social networkers want to keep me on their social platform they need to block businesses from posting promotional material until I puke. If they don’t, we are out of here. The one major thing each side of this war for the internet loose site of is neither are going to enjoy any of the benefits of the internet until they learn how to be both social and professional. Yes, even the little lady with the cat will one day want to use the internet professionally to start up her hairball removal service or has a garage sale to sell off all of the cat toys once the cat leaves this world.
Change Has To Be Made NOW
One day the business world will finally see that ‘Billboard Marketing’ never worked and they need to start employing people, or other businesses, to represent them socially. Since 2008, the universe of the internet, which consist of web-sites and social networks, has slowly become consumer driven. People..real human beings.. instinctively know they do not need the internet to survive. The truth is, many of the people who flooded the internet in the 2008 to 2010 hay day of social networking have actually left the internet. Most have never gone back. So why are the social site showing tremendous increases? Good question. Could it be since their is no way to validate any of their user activity reports are based on a actual real human using their platform that they could populate the reports with any number? That seems to be what they are doing since if you make poll of your offline connections like I do, you will..or should..find that many of your real life connections have cut back on their internet involvement to only using the internet to validate a product or service interest they have. Most..if not all..will say they left due to all of the ads being flashed in their face.
Organic Social Networking A Must
For most people..or consumers..online socializing has moved away from the social spaces that allow their information streams to be filled with non-entertaining and irrelevant nonsense. It’s been proven over and over that organic social marketing, done at the grassroots level, has the greatest ROI. So why do these businesses still feel spamming is a good marketing plan? Why can’t businesses see the value of interacting with their consumers as being a new form of marketing? Once businesses understand that the internet is for socializing then and only then will they see this almighty ROI they demand. And once consumers find that they can communicate with a live person at the company they will become more trustworthy of the products or services businesses offer and will return to the social space to interact. So the battle of the internet is being won by the consumer and businesses need to understand the consumer’s needs if they intend to stay online. Social spaces, if they intend to survive, are going to have to take control of their sites to keep them free of obtrusive behavior. Both need to take their time spent online serious. So, which are you? Social or Professional…or both? Let me know how I can help.