Some of the latest social media statistics…

Watched this earlier while catching up on the latest from the 1000heads blog:

It is amazing just how big this stuff is now!

It is equally amazing how many people are now becoming scepticle, we have certainly past the blind “believe the hype” phase of social media and are into the bedding down and scepticism of said hype phase, as despite all those amazing stats above there is more scepticism about the medium than ever before… Why? Because many people have now tried and failed in social. and many “gurus” have sold lots of “snake oil” to brands and agencies alike.

We have an interesting dichotomy on our hands, on the one side we have the fact that this stuff is huge, just insanely huge, on the other hand we have a growing list of failures and scepticism and the (quite frankly unhealthy) dissmissal of the “social media expert” and “guru” across (ironically) the leading social media marketing circles. I think this is because of 3 things:

1) Accountability: It was often said in the past that “half of marketing money is wasted, if only we could tell which half”, unfortunately for some (hugely fortunately for others) it is very hard to hide from metrics in social and as much as you search for the silver lining failure is pretty easy to spot, and I don’t mean failure in the sense of a screwup on a twitter account but I mean a campaign that really didn’t work.

2) Old thinking: It’s a brave new world that needs new blood and new thinking, simple

3) Fragmentation: Facebook is huge, but it is fragmented, so is twitter, so are the myriad other networks out there, social is not as easy as other mediums in this respect, this leads to failure when combined with the above two factors, failure leads to fear, fear to retreat and retrentment, that is bad.

Solution: Accept you will fail in social just like you will probably fail in all other marketing activity at some point, not every campaign or activity or initiative will work, so just learn and move on, but look at those above stats, in the words of James Whatley on the 1000heads blog: “watch it then watch it again” ’cause this ain’t going anywhere, like it or not!

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