You Ask, I Answer: Brands and Social Media Presence?

Ann asks, “Should brands still be on social media?”

You Ask, I Answer: Brands and Social Media Presence?
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Christopher Penn 0:13

In today’s episode, Ann asks, Should brands still be on social media? Yeah.

That could be the video.

Yes, absolutely.

brands should still be on social media brands should be participating in social media and trying to find ways to provide value.

Now, here’s where it gets interesting.

What is social media? This is something that companies get wrong a lot.

When I ask, you will name some social media channels.

People rattle off the usual suspects, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tiktok, Twitter, Pinterest, et cetera, right? The mainstream big tech, social media channels, and there’s nothing one of the most are indeed social media.

But social media is defined, a social network is defined by the use of the network effect, which is something that Robert Metcalf, the inventor of Ethernet, coined in like 1979.

Essentially, the value of a network is proportional to the number of nodes in the network squared.

That’s that’s Metcalfe’s law.

Think about it.

If you have a telephone, right? And your telephone is the only one in the world.

What good is it? Forget the smartphone part, just just a phone.

It’s your the got the only phone in the world? What good is it? It’s not very useful.

Now, the moment that one other person gets a phone, okay, now it has an actual function, right? You can call that person.

And every time you add a new telephone to that network, the network overall gets more valuable.

Even people who already have a phone get more value, when a new phone becomes a part of the network, because there’s yet another person to call, right.

So social networks function the exact same way.

Think about, let’s use Twitter as an example, if there was only you on Twitter and nobody else, what good is it? It’s not, you’re literally screaming into the void, right? Only as more people join Twitter, or Facebook or Tiktok, or whatever.

Do you create value for everybody? Because there’s more interaction, more content and more opportunities for conversation? Why does this matter? Because what we call social media is only a tiny subset of what is actually social media.

Any place where users are the content, user generated content.

And interaction is the content is a social network is social media.

So that means things like GitHub, the developer site, where developers can check in and check out code work on each of those projects and things like that is a social network that has social media 100%.

Think about discord and slack.

These are apps that let people set up servers, private communities that get people get to interact with and have conversations that is social media.

Think about Tinder.

Tinder is social media.

Right.

Again, it follows Metcalfe’s law, if you were the only person on Tinder, it would have no value.

Right? Stack Overflow and Stack Exchange.

These are developer q&a sites.

Christopher Penn 3:42

Like 99% of developers at least good ones.

I routinely copying and pasting content from GitHub from Stack Overflow, because why reinvent the wheel answering people’s questions and things like that? The internal bulletin board, email, email itself is a social network, right? Think about that.

give that some thought email is the OG social network.

YouTube is a social network.

Right? Without if there was only you on YouTube, it would have no value.

Right? As you are there and other people there, it gains value twitch.

The gaming thing is a social network, Amazon itself that electronic shopping portal is a social network.

Pornhub is a social network, right? It’s an a social network for adult content.

All of these things are social networks.

So going back to ask question, Should brands be on social media? Yes.

Should brands necessarily be on Facebook? Not necessarily, or LinkedIn or any of the mainstream tech? Social networks? Not necessarily.

But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a social network that follows Metcalf’s rules somewhere out there, where your customers are, and that is the opportunity for you to interact with them and probably get better results because you are finding a context that is appropriate for your brand, your product your service your industry within a dedicated social network for it, right that’s one of the reasons why services like discord and slacker just blowing up and have been for three or four years now, when you can start up a Discord server that is specifically focused just on left hand people who powerwash right as so focused is such a focus community that if you were selling power washers you would 100% want to be in that community.

probably also want to make sure that your employees who participate are left handed.

But it means that you can find a social network that fits your brand that fits the value you can offer.

The value you can create by contributing and in return exchange some value and get some business out of it.

Do not make the mistake of thinking that you know Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.

That that is the only thing that is social media.

It isn’t social media is hundreds, if not 1000s of different types of websites, different communities, where you can find your crowd and make them deliriously happy that they have found you.

So really good question.

Thanks for asking.

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