Steven Gradidge. Hi :)

Shut Up Analysts! The Uncertainty Of Social Media Is What Makes It So Obsessive…

Posted on: April 21, 2011

Oh how we love analysts, eh? One minute a company is doomed and then at a click of a mouse, the very same company is soaring to new dizzying heights of economic success. As if business was a  sinking ship, analysts seem to want to stand on one side or the other but for those who have seen Titanic, we all know what happened in the end (No spoiler alert here I’m afraid).

To continue the nautical theme, Social Media, like the Titanic, was seen as something of its time, a cultural emblem of achievement and most importantly: unsinkable. Time and time again online marketers and advertisers are singing the praises of what Social is doing now and what it encompasses for the future. Still, businesses are desperately scrambling to find monitoring tools to actually allow them to measure the ‘effectiveness’ of their Social Media investment and ultimately, their ROI. Whether it be Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Foursquare or any of the other social networks it is important to measure and validate both your existence in them and the networks’ promises (I like to call this PROI).

Facebook and the like are fun, useful and incredibly addictive as I’m sure many of you will agree but like AOL, Bebo, Myspace and others have discovered, being top dog is temporary. Failure to innovate, as was the case for AOL’s, means you leave open the back door for others to sneak up and compete. Where an industry strives for a monopoly, competition is not social (nor welcome for that matter).

Titanic Sinking

Titanic Sinking

My point: let Social Media work itself out. The zeitgeist is a powerful thing and will inevitably decide what works and what does not – what is good and what is not. Business too will learn what works and what doesn’t. All these overly inflated and laughable (because this is what most people do when they hear of the sums being exchanged) valuations of social startups have no real monetization model at the moment. Do people know yet quite how Twitter are paying the bills?

So come on Google, release that social network!


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