A Closer Look At A Social Opportunity

Social Media Marketing

March has been dominated by Australian research reports suggesting that we Aussies have an obsession with social media.

Which sites are most popular?

According to Alexa, social media sites are dominating the top 100 Australian sites. In particular 20% of sites within the top 20, are of a social media kind.

Here is a summary of the results;
Facebook Position 3
YouTube Position 6
MySpace Position 11
Flickr Position 18
Bebo Position 21
Photobucket Position 32
Friendster Position 81
Twitter Position 89

A closer look

Social networking sites are definitely a winner with the Australian population. According to the Digital Life Survey one in every two Australians use social networking sites. In particular consumption is as high as 91% for those between the age of 15 – 19. In addition on average Australian’s are members of 2.7 different social networking sites which is above the world average of 2.5.

Facebook & MySpace continue to dominate the landscape with Facebook attracting 4,682,000 unique visitors in December 2008, compared with just 2,362,000 for MySpace. However investment in Australia by Friendster, shows dedication and aspirations for growth thus this is one to watch.

Twitter is also definitely a surprise – with all of the hype around the site it is surprising that it has only just snuck into the Top 100.

But I wouldn’t discount it just yet. From January to February 2009 Twitter’s Australian user base has grown by 100,000 (67%) moving it to the mainstream. Given this growth it is no doubt Twitter will have significant reach by years end.

Social Networking Sites 2009Are brands doing enough with social media?

An article recently published on the Sydney Morning Herald website stated that Corporate Australia must try harder to tap into social tools. However if you are new to social media this can be somewhat daunting.

Some words to the wise;

For those fairly new to social media, a good place to start is to listen. Traditional marketing is dominated by one way dialogue and Web 2.0 has opened the channels of communication BUT before engaging in conversation start by observing. Through observation an organisation can gauge the key theme’s emerging on both their brand and in the industry and also determine where online your brand is being discussed. From there you can map the type of content being discussed and the key sites being utilised to discuss your industry/brand. This will then allow you to create a strategy for areas which require the most attention or where you can create the biggest impact.

Not Just Another Channel

If you do wish to delve into social media marketing it is important to understand the different dynamics of this channel and not to simply use the channel to push marketing messages. The very nature of social media is the facilitation of conversations and relationships thus it is important to ensure there is mutual benefit derived for both parties.

Know what you are getting yourself into

It is important that organisations considering social media marketing, are prepared to invest time in this area. Social media marketing is not a short term strategy, it takes time to build trust and relationships with your target market and this is not usually gained overnight.

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Social Networking Sites of Tomorrow

Social Media Strategy

In the digital world what’s hot today is yesterdays news, and this is particularly true when it comes to social media. This is not to say that I believe social media is just hype – completely the opposite, this space is so hot right now that everyone wants a piece of the action.

Facebook has averaged nearly 4.7 million unique users in Australia in December and Twitter’s growth rate in Australia equates to 517% in January year on year.

With some of the web’s youngest sites, becoming the worlds leading web properties in a matter of a few years it is no wonder others are trying to muscle in to create the next big thing online.

So what is coming?

Social Networking for Mobile

Gyspii ChinaGypsii; Currently trialling in China, and also eyeing Western Europe and the US, Gypsii is all about sharing experiences. But will it take off in Australia? Given our love of travel, I think it is not a matter of if but when.

Gypsii has been created to support the relationship individuals have with technology, and to leverage from the mobile internet era.

So how do you use it? The site has 5 main functions, with some of the most exciting being the PlaceMe and SpaceMe features. PlaceMe provides users with the ability to capture the moment, by creating a place (based on their current location) and then uploading an image / video or audio via their phone. Whilst SpaceMe provides the ability for users to locate their friends on a map. Looks like no more lying to your friends about feeling sick and staying in for the evening.

The above features and others on the site do seem to provide the perfect travel journal thus I expect this is one to watch out for.

For marketers it could also provide a new opportunity for targeted marketing with the ability for users to search for location based services via keywords – thus combining the power of relevance with user profile information.

View the short 8 minute video on Gypsii and share your comments below.

Micro-Blogging For Professionals

Blellow is a micro-blogging site created for freelancers, entrepreneurs or professionals. Based on the success of professional networks LinkedIn and Xing, Blellow aims to enable professionals to talk and share information with users based on a groups/users skills, experience or interests. Blellow answers the question “what are you working on”, which is the same question a user can answer on their LinkedIn profile.

It will be interesting how this new network can monetise its offering to advertisers – specifically those offering career management services.

Seesmic Video Sharing PlatformVideo Micro-Blogging

Seesmic.com; Founded in July 2007 in the US, Seesmic is described as the video version of Twitter, allowing conversations to be captured and responded to all via video. Seesmic already powers video commentary on other blogs and the usage of both video blogging and commentary may be used more frequently in Australia in the not too distant future. The one downfall of a video micro-blogging site however is the ease of use and if it is set to become the next Twitter it will have to work hard to make it easy to comment on the move.

For marketers, video blogging provides the opportunity to run built in ads on popular video content.

For more information on Seemic visit the Seesmic Video Blogging Site

Do you think these sites will make it to the Australian shores? Are there any other sites you feel will be the next big thing in Australia? Why not comment below.

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