Last week, I stumbled across yet another social network…admittedly one with rather a cool name, Sue.
What’s the point of another social media network?
Well actually it’s Tsu, but Sue seemed a tad more friendly, and sounds a little bit like the network could actually be my mum. Though god knows what would actually happen if she ever ended up on social media *cowers at the mere thought*
Jenny Evolution, a blogger whom I have a lot of time for, wrote a great introduction to the platform and like every good blogger should, and typically does – I joined it.
Ten days later, I have posted on it about twice. It was much the same with Ello a few weeks ago.
I am a geek, I love shiny new things, they distract me, and then I find I haven’t got the time, and I go back in my cave and stick with what I know; Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram….maybe even with a little Google Plus on the side.
But WHY are these social networks popping up now – do we need them, what are they trying to do, and should we be even the slightest bit bothered by them?
It seems like sites like Tsu, and Ello are trying to take advantage of a user backlash as Facebook’s revenues increase, and our social interaction is interrupted by promoted posts and ads.
Tsu take 10% of ad revenue revenues from the site, and give 90% back to users depending on how much engagement your posts receive. Ello is keeping it simple, and seems to really want to go back to social old school, and well, be social.
Today, I even found yet another one (through Twitter ironically), this is a community/social network for writers called Write Track. It is designed to help us manage and stick to our writing goals, with a community of supporters to herlp us, and reciprocate with. Reaching our writing goals, and setting ourselves new challenges is something that many bloggers who are also pottering away on social media are struggling with.
How can we balance the need to promote our blog to a wider audience, with writing the great content that keeps that audience coming back?
All these new networks are popping up to tap into the overall feeling that social media isn’t as much about the chat as it used to be….its about making money for the owners of those networks. There are a lot of businesses, small, medium and large, latching on to the marketing power of social proof. Bloggers are no different in their wish to promote and generate conversations either, if someone RTs or shares a blog article, you are more likely to read it, aren’t you?
Conversation or conversion – which are you…or are you both?
Facebook and Twitter know that the balance of what we see if our feed is important to us too. It can’t all be about them making money from their advertisers. These networks can’t just serve up ads to its users otherwise they’ll all disappear off somewhere else; if Facebook and Twitter no longer becomes about joining in the conversations that we want to have, we won’t be sticking around.
For example, this is why Facebook aren’t going to allow companies to be overtly promotional on their walls anymore, but use their ads. This way they can control the amount of promotional material a user sees in their feed through their algorithms. Of the 300 posts we see from the potential 1500 a day, Facebook doesn’t want a load to be promotional. We might all get annoyed and bog off to Ello.
Does all of this mean we need another social media network to get our teeth into? Yes and erm, No. If the ones you use aren’t working for YOU go explore somewhere else. But don’t do it all at once, that isn’t going to work. Pick a couple and stick to them, working out what you want to get from them; conversation or conversion. Isn’t choosing your space what you’d do if you were at a party? If the people in the kitchen started to talk about lawnmowers, and the price of car insurance these days, then you’d be moving into the lounge if that didn’t float your boat.
What’s the point of another social media network?
If you are looking for conversions, you go to where your customers are. Pretty much every demographic is on Facebook and Twitter, so you might have to stick it out there, but you will have to pay a little bit to reach the right people, talking about the right things.
Sadly, I am afraid this is increasingly becoming true for bloggers. If you want to get your fans to see your posts, there is a distinct possibility that you may have to pay. Unless your page is enormous, and so the small reach per post of 1-5% of your fans, still means that over 1000 are seeing and interacting with your posts.
Setting aside a small budget is not feasible for many, and rather frustrating for a blogger that writes content for free. However, you have to work out what you are willing to invest in, paying for a few relevant targeted likes, that then do engage with yours and others content on the page, might well work for you.
Are you on Tsu, or Ello and Write Track? If you are what do you think? Are you sticking around? Is Facebook driving you potty? We would Iove to hear your thoughts in the comments below.