In under a month and still in beta, Google+ has attracted 18 million users, or 2.4% of Facebook’s base (per Business Insider). That’s a fairly impressive figure.
Time is a finite resource. The time people are now spending on G+ (or turntable.fm, or Namesake, or any other hot new service) is, almost certainly, time taken away from Twitter, Facebook, etc. You’ve probably spent a considerable amount of your own time building and engaging on those services. And now your fans – and you – are turning at least some of their attention elsewhere.
You can’t be everywhere at once. Neither can your customers, fans, clients, etc. You can try… but in spending so much time trying to build and maintain your presence on the various social services you can end up neglecting your own site.
And that’s a danger.
Your own site is the one place where YOU control the content, the context, and – perhaps most importantly – the list. If your Twitter or Facebook or Blogger account were wiped out tomorrow, could you easily reach or recreate all those followers and fans? No.
Even with apps to help, it’s just much easier to tweet than to blog. I get that, and am as guilty of it as anyone. The social services make it incredibly convenient to post a photo, thought, or video. Apps like TweetDeck and HootSuite make it even easier by letting you post to multiple services at once.
I’m not advocating that you stop doing that. In fact, I’m a big proponent that businesses, artists, etc. should be, within reason, where their fans are, and not try to force customers to come to them. Having said that, there will always be another service, another app.
Your only constant online is the content that YOU own and control: your site, your mailing list. Reward those who do visit your site/blog with exclusive content or offers, with being the first to get exciting news (via your blog, RSS, mailing list) before you post it elsewhere. Make sure the content there is as rich and valuable as what you post elsewhere, and you’ll always be able to reach your core base regardless of whatever services they (and you) use.
What are your strategies for managing the shifting social media audience? Please add them in the comments below.
Great post, as usual! This is one of the important (non-nerdy) reasons why sites like http://status.net/, which allows you to set up your own microblog, with a domain and data you control, are so great.
Thanks, Parker. It always amazes me that the social media pundits don’t raise this point more often. 🙂
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