A look back at the first day of Social Media Marketing World and a key takeaway for how you think about social media. If you’re not using Metcalfe’s Law to decide what is and isn’t social media, consider adopting its usage today.
Social media is anything that uses Metcalfe’s network effect. Every user provides additional value to existing user. An extra reader doesn’t change your value of a blog post you’re reading. An extra member on Twitter gives you additional utility. That then means that tons of other sites are social networks, social media. Github. YouTube. Twitch. Discord. Slack. Spiceworks. Pornhub. Stack Overflow. 500px. The list goes on. All those are social.
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What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.
So let’s talk about day one of Social Media Marketing World.
The event had your usual fun, engaging entertainment such and a few fun headline acts, Michael stelzner took a lot of time to walk through the social media landscape reiterating a point that markers been here for a couple years now, which is that organic reach for traditional social media is dead.
Marketers should be focusing a lot, a lot more on video.
Hey, Ann Handley went through a fantastic very entertaining keynote on slowing down in order to speed up making sure that you actually take time to craft your marketing As though it was actually communications to other people, and making sure that people understood what you’re trying to give them spending time on the value of your marketing.
There were a lot of other sessions that hasn’t had some fun stuff in them.
But I think the thing that I want the takeaway to be from this year’s show, and certainly the takeaway I tried to bring in the talk that I gave is that social media is more than just big tech companies, right? It is more than just Twitter and Facebook and Instagram at Tiktok and LinkedIn.
Those are important.
Those are social networks, but they are not social media by themselves.
They are not the end all the social media social media is any form of media where the network effect Metcalf’s network effect is in place.
So what does that mean? Metcalfe’s law says that the value of a network grows in proportion to the number of members squared of that network.
If you have a phone, right, and you’re the only person in the world with a phone, it’s not super helpful, right? It’s, it’s actually kind of useless.
If two people have a phone, how you’re starting to get somewhere that you can call somebody.
And every new person who gets a phone adds value to everybody else who already has a phone because their phone gets more valuable because there’s yet another person to call.
So when we talk about network effects that really the defining characteristic of social media, if somebody reads your blog post, great.
If two people read your blog posts, the first reader doesn’t get any more value out of it, right? So a blog is not social.
On Twitter, if you only have one friend, hey, it’s not great.
But as you add More people to your network, you get benefit, everybody else gets benefit too and the value increases.
So with that in perspective, think about all the places that are out there on the internet that are functionally social networks, forums, discussion forums, forums, threads in in all kinds of apps, the comments section in places like YouTube.
We are we have gotten so ingrained in our thinking that if it’s not an app on our phone, and it’s not got 500 million users, that is not social media, it’s not true.
GitHub, for example, is a social network for developers.
You can post code there, you can commit code to other people’s projects.
You can participate in a variety of discussions and such.
It’s a fantastic social network for coders.
Stack Overflow for it in code folks.
Solving other people’s problems giving advice, Cora social network where you can do Qa 500 pixels, social network for photographers even Pornhub social network for adult entertainment, right? There’s all these different websites and services out there.
They may not have the fanciest flashiest apps, they may just be a discussion forum.
But their social networks, their social media, which means that if you have to narrow a view of what social media is, you’re missing opportunities.
You’re missing opportunities to find new audiences to find less expensive audiences to be able to if you want to run ads run more targeted ads where you know the intent of the people who are there.
If you are in say, a community on Twitch, or in discord, you know exactly what the intent of that community is about Because it’s, you know, it’s fans of this thing.
If you’re in a slack community like analytics for markers, which is is the Trust Insights, slack.
You know why you’re there.
You know why everyone else is there.
It’s not to discuss politics or the weather or sports, it’s to talk about analytics for markers.
By the way, you should sign up.
It’s free Trust insights.ai slash analytics for marketers.
When we think about social media as being all these potential places where users people us are interacting with each other, providing value to each other.
We can be much more aware of smaller networks, niche networks, industry specific networks, topics, specific networks, and get more value.
And in our analytics, you’re going to start having to read code or reclassify a lot of your referral traffic is social in those cases, because when somebody visits you from A Reddit post or if somebody visits you from a SoundCloud track.
That’s social media.
That’s not a referral.
I mean, you can you can measure it either way.
But if you’re trying to get the value of what are users doing, what are people doing to talk about us? Then I would classify those things as social instead of for traffic, even though they don’t have the cool app, even though they don’t have venture capital, you know, millions of dollars, something like that.
We can broaden our minds, our definitions of what social media is, we will get better results and it will free us from being enslaved, just handing your wallet over to Mark Zuckerberg every month.
So in terms of a takeaway from day one, now sounds incredibly jerk like behavior.
But I would like that to be your takeaway from day one of Social Media Marketing World.
What’s your social network for your company, for your industry for your niche.
And by the way, if there isn’t one, it’s a golden opportunity for you.
It’s a golden opportunity for you to create one for your industry.
There are tons of open source packages that are pieces of software that will let you run a discussion forum or what you can run a set up a slack group.
I would not build on a mainstream social media network because you’re subject to the algorithm those places but build something for your industry.
If there isn’t one, build it and then it’s yours.
And then you become the authority in your industry.
You become the place people go to have those conversations and you’ll have people literally knocking on the door to do business with you.
It’s a really terrific thing.
So day one in the bag day to ahead, see what what people have to But in a lot of my conversations yesterday was making sure that people understood there’s more to social media than just the 500 million user plus apps.
So hopefully that is useful to you and setting your own strategy.
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