Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, Reddit, Quora, LinkedIn, Pinterest. These names represent just a fraction of the emerging media sites that have come into existence over the past decade or less. In fact, this blog entry by Randall Craig suggests that more than 500 social networking sites might exist.
Emerging media present an opportunity for people to connect to others in a way not possible before because it removes the barriers of physical distance and time zones. In an article published by the Pew Charitable Trust, the Trust shared findings like:
- Social networking sites are increasingly used to keep up with close social ties
- The average user of a social networking site has more close ties and is half as likely to be socially isolated as the average American
- Internet users get more support from their social ties and Facebook users get the most support
However, this brave new world also poses challenges, like the deterioration of attention spans and increase of distractions, which are a detriment to productivity. (See the infographic below, published by Singularity Hub about the negative effects of emerging media. Produced by Assisted Living Today, it is based on data from sources like Mashable.com and wired.com.) The plethora of activities online also introduces the problem of “shiny object syndrome,” where there is always something new to look at or do.
What does all of this mean for marketers? While it has never been easier to reach consumers more directly without going through the gate of a major publication or television station, it has also never been harder to know where to find the people you are interested in talking to. It’s like being in a room with a million other people and hearing all of these conversations going on and trying to wade through the crowd to find the people you have something in common with. And if you do find them, how do you keep their attention long enough to have a meaningful dialog with them? How do you build a relationship when there are so many conversations they could be having at that moment? Just as importantly, how do you find out what they are saying about your brand when you aren’t there? Because now, consumers have just as much power to have conversations outside conventional, and controlled, means, like writing a Letter to the Editor. Now, for better or worse, they can tell everyone online their opinion very easily.
While it will by no means have all of the answers, this blog will discuss trends in emerging media and try to give them context to businesses thinking about establishing or expanding their marketing strategy in the digital space. I hope you find it helpful, and I’m looking forward to the conversation.
Republished from Singularity Hub.com