This post won’t change your life. Just the same, I wanted to tell you that I see a lot of shifts in the whole online/social networks landscape. Some of it kind of saddens me. The rest of it points to the weakening state of effectiveness of various platforms as business tools. You can disagree. That’s fine.
Social Networks for Business
I should note that most of my opinions have changed dramatically (180 degrees level) in the last handful of months. I’m basing this on business. Not on whether I like or don’t like something, unless I state it as such.
Twitter is Dying – I have almost 309,000 followers. I get less and less and less engagement there. I see more and more people stuffing posts into Buffer and calling it a day. I’m not opposed to automation if people follow it up with engagement opportunities. But it’s not that way. Twitter is quickly becoming like the ticker at the bottom of ESPN. Kinda there. Kinda worth peeking at. That’s all.
Facebook Involves Paying – I’m not upset about this like some folks. If you want to drive traffic somewhere off-Facebook, you have to pay. If you want to break through the expensive-and-deeply-crafted algorithm and “force” people to see your posts, you have to pay. Okay, good. I’m seeing some traction on Facebook. But honestly, I *mostly* use it for personal stuff. (Check out Jon Loomer for his take on FB ads).
Facebook Part Two – ALL my best experiences are in groups, most of them private or hidden. My own Secret Team is about ten thousand people strong and thriving. I belong to a few other really great groups there.
LinkedIn Is Improving – I really like LinkedIn Pulse as a blogging software. Does it replace your own site? No. But I’ve put up almost a dozen posts and suddenly, I’m getting new leads I wasn’t getting before. That’s worth noting. And even though I frequently tease about all the “leg humpers” there, it’s been better. (I’ve got a video coming out soon with John Nemo.)
Instagram is Strong – Personally, I use Instagram for myself. Not my business. But I’m seeing lots of traction there, and lots of engagement, and when people do use it for business, it’s powerful. ( Check out Sue B. Zimmerman for that stuff).
YouTube is Still Vital – I do NOT do enough with YouTube. That said, I think there are mountains of marketing tricks and business you can develop via that platform. It’s the #2 search engine in the world. What more do I have to say?
Google+ – I really can’t tell you how this one pains me. The lack of internal support has me thrown off. That said, if you still have hope for this one, pay attention to Martin Shervington. He’s really engineering some interesting results.
Pinterest – I don’t know much about Pinterest, but people smarter than me swear by it. I think they’re right. I just can’t add much to the story.
Snapchat – Ditto Pinterest. I have no idea. I have that feeling like lots of people had about Twitter when Twitter mattered. I feel like it’s poopy, but that’s what people said to ME about Twitter and they were wrong. Am I wrong? I don’t know. I’m not trying anything to find out just yet.
Where I Spend My Time Online
I spend the MAJORITY of my time in my inbox. The strongest and oldest social network is still alive and thriving.
I love Slack as my team’s internal comms tool of choice. Love it.
Instagram (for me!) is just personal.
Facebook (for me!) is mostly personal.
LinkedIn (for me!) is a publishing platform and gentle lead gen.
Podcasting is alive and thriving. Here’s mine!
Platforms I Don’t Care Much About
I think Medium is pretty. I don’t see people pointing to it for BUSINESS value.
I don’t care at all about Meerkat and Periscope, but I’m told I should.
I gave up on Vine years ago. I’m not funny enough.
Ello? Ello? Ello? Sorry. Wrong number. (Paul Budnitz is awesome, and I think the people who are still there are loving it. Just not business making for me.)
And are there any other platforms? Who knows?
None of This Matters
But I’m asked about it a lot. So I wrote this for you.