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October 17, 2011

Are We In Social Overload?

Recently Google’s latest social network, Google+ opened to the public. In an effort to create a little fun around the subject, College Humor created a two minute video about Not Google+, which encourages people not to join Google+ as we have too many social networks already. Do they have a point?

Google+’s most obvious competitor is Facebook. While Google+ offers certain advantages to its users that Facebook lacks, a lot of Facebook users were resistant to switching networks for no other reason than the hassle of it. Our friends are on Facebook, our pictures videos, links and info and the thought of having to build all of that up somewhere else didn’t quite seem worth it. Twitter or Foursquare, however, are so different in their offering, setting up accounts with them does seem worth it, depending on one’s interests of course.

Between news aggregation, social bookmarking, and social networking sites we are already elbow deep in platforms we have to log into and keep up to date with. Do we really need another one? Consumers and the general public love social networking sites, but with so many available, information is getting lost, their influence means less, privacy issues are being questioned, and our ability to interact face-to-face is slowly diminishing. And while most brands are eager to join social networks, they have yet to see a real return on investment. Just as a brand is starting to become familiar with one platform it seems another one becomes available. And there is this pressure to have a presence on all of them, even though it might not make sense for your company or campaign. Moreover, developing a sound marketing strategy involves time and consideration and half the time brands aren’t even entirely sure how these platforms work and how consumers interact with them.

The issue isn’t whether or not Google should have developed a social network – the issue is what are we, consumers and brands alike, trying to prove? We have entered the ‘look at me, look at me’ culture, where everyone is shouting about themselves. They are making videos about how much fun they’re having at the office, they are posting pictures of themselves showing the world how much fun they were having that weekend and more. Public profiles are important of course, but please, one thing at a time. Instead of throwing a million things up online, think about what you stand for, who you are, who you want to be associated with and how you want to be viewed. And only then, start hiring the best people, the most creative minds to build up something really, really good. Something that will have the world going ‘wow’.

Adaptive Consultancy is a London-based digital agency specializing in web development, design, ecommerce and internet marketing. Services include search engine optimization, paid search, email and social media marketing. For more on digital marketing agency London