When Facebook broke into the mainstream in 2006-2009, online marketers were frothing at the mouth at the borderline unlimited potential the service seemed to offer. Of course, it expounded on the then-decreasing notoriety of MySpace by streamlining the brand and customizing and focusing on a more ‘exclusive’ authority. That’s fine, but it seems to have made Facebook a bit too stuffy for its own good.
Facebook has seen momentous and groundbreaking success and will likely result in a film about it every few years for the next decade. But its once unfailing popularity is now showing some cracks, and the marketing is become less focused on this social media behemoth of a platform.
Success drives competition: When MySpace dominated, competitors were just itching to take over the reins. Others will copy the successes of the past and often attempt to do things differently to gain an edge. That’s the nature of the market system.
Facebook had much less competition early on with MySpace already waning on its own. But its dominance of the social media sphere has even caused Google to do an about face in terms of deploying a social media infrastructure.
Truthfully, many social media outlets use different strategies. Google Plus has very different social methods than Facebook, relying on more interconnection and less plugins then Facebook (fundamentally). YouTube relies on video content and StumbledUpon relies on web interface content and “I like this” style thought-to-button-clicking. Twitter is another beast altogether but continues to lag Facebook in terms of revenue.
But if you look at the options listed above, and the ones left out, you’ll note that social media ain’t what it used to be. We’ve gone from a few, to tens, to hundreds, and now thousands of options.
I look at IT as a whole and then at Facebook, and I’m constantly reminded how quickly things change. And not just in terms of technology, but in the underlying nature of the business and competition. Our core offering has always been about “service”, i.e., ensuring our customers got the productivity multiplier promised by IT. The software or hardware used isn’t as important as that underlying goal. If we had just focused on being a Dell or IBM reseller, or just being able to say “Hey, we’re a Microsoft Gold Partner!”, then we’d be bankrupt by now. The market shifts too quickly to focus on just certifications and vendor alliances.
I’d love to know how you’ve looked at your own business to determine what makes you an up-and-comer, even if you’ve been in business for 30 years, or the company that was cool but now the kids don’t know about you.