“Time is like a handful of sand- the tighter you grasp it, the faster it runs through your fingers.” Sounds a lot like social media, right? Bear with me.
I don’t have a Twitter account. I suppose as a Web editor, that’s something I’ll have to remedy sooner than later. Not having an account doesn’t keep me from seeing the big picture though – social media is evolving to be more, well, social. Duh. All week we’ve heard about Twitter’s redesign and Facebook’s updates to fan pages. The fact that the term “social media” itself doesn’t change as the social networks evolve leads some people to believe it’s a static channel; one that is what it is, that it has arrived and is ready to be harnessed with a set of best practices and presented as a viable marketing channel.
That’s not the case though. Yes, it’s still recognizable as the same channel it was five years ago, and we can discuss all we want about the future of the channel and its viability, but the reality is that it’s progressing too quickly to attach a set of best practices to. The massive quantity of people in social media may not convert to monetized quality the way some folks would like, but be patient, because the one thing that everyone seems to agree on is that social media is not going anywhere anytime soon.
Will it be more powerful than SEO? Will its star fade? Who knows. But trying to squeeze a short-term dime out of its unfathomable connectivity and potential probably isn’t the answer. There may not be an answer just yet – if there was, someone would have tweeted it by now, right?