The Social Media “Gold Rush”
Often when discussing the intricacies of the social media business environment I like to use a term to describe the current state of third party offerings and services for social media, “Gold Rush.” Having been born in California, I know all too well the old story that the miners were not the ones who benefited the most of the Gold Rush of ’49, instead it was the store owners. The people who sold the shovels and other tools made more money than the men digging in the mud all day. I think that this is the current state of social media today, the page admins, the copy writers, and the social media managers are slogging in the mud, while the tool salesmen try to sell us on the latest and greatest.
Nearly once a week I am approached by a salesman with a new piece of technology that will help my business via social media. While I do enjoy learning about how these tools and software work, I cannot help but remember the old tale of the Gold Rush. Here I am slaving away through comments, insight data and advertisement CTR’s, while these guys have created a tool that still leaves it up to me to use effectively. I will try it for a few months, and it may or may not make a difference. Meanwhile, they go on to sell more tools, taking full advantage of this craze to find the gold in them hills of social media, the elusive ROI.
Now don’t get me wrong, at my full time employer we have many teams and tools that make what I do there possible. However, this is not always the case for other businesses, and as such my opinion is skewed. However, as part of Design Whale, I hope to never pitch someone on something that I myself do not truly believe is an efficient way to spend money.
There are certainly many ways to make money through Social Media. However it takes a careful alignment of goals, resources and effort. It takes real passion and real honesty. Many of these tools offered by third party social media businesses can go a long way to facilitating passion and honesty. I just think that in the wild west of social media, the man who can learn the trick to the tool and take advantage of the core idea quickly will be the one who wins in the end.
About the Author
Mario currently manages a community of over 250,000 members on the Facebook page, Twitter accounts, and blogs of Build.com. Acting as the Build.com’s Social Media Manager, Mario manages all of the advertisements, content and technology behind Build.com’s growing social media strategy. Having built this community from the ground up, Mario is extremely knowledgeable of the current state of social media, it’s potential as a business driver, and it’s true capabilities regardless of the hype. Having graduated California State University Chico with a degree in Communication Design, and an emphasis in Graphic Design, Mario is uniquely positioned to be an efficient and powerful social media manager. When Mario isn’t working on increasing fan engagement, or advertising CTR’s, he is down in the workshop building custom motorcycles or out riding them in the hills of Northern California.
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