Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Reaching 500 million friends

You may despise it, you may hate it, you may say its a fad or a fashion trend. But whatever you may do, you cannot ignore it. For the first time in the history of human civilization has the top few, who believed in controlling the system through devious means of information control, are running for cover.

If you scan the daily news papers, there are paragraphs written over a single 140 characters line by some celebrity. The bottom line, we are changing the way we look at things due to these hammering of social media. Social media is no different that word of mouth, there were countless email forwards back in the old Yahoo days. However, email was a private affair the spread of information was linear, however in social media, the spread of information is cumulative making it more effective and blown up exponentially.

This pattern can be shown in a graph as below


Ideally both email and social media reached the same number of users but unlike in email, in social media you can track the number of responses or you can track the number of users reached. This trend is seen in open social networks.

In email there was a leap of faith, that the email would somehow learn ninja skills, bypass the spam filters, enter the inbox and if the subject was not attractive the user would get distracted. Also remember back in those days 1 Mb of email service was something like a pot of Gold. So there was a guaranteed shot that the email would go deleted as it was seen as marketing ploy.

Also in email marketing, the marketing was a private affair, so we could make a giant leaps with the messages. Some people would simply choose to ignore the loudness of email or some would be attracted to it. In Social media, both these people are together. You have to be very smart avoiding the first one and reaching the next.

Remove the jazziness from the email, remove the 'media' from it and get to the message and you have social media. Keep it short and smart and users will support you.

Social Media gives us the channels to check exactly how many users have we reached. Trends prove if the marketing strategy is working. A great quote I read today on twitter by @neha707, Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip. I say, with social media, you have to market in such a way only.

Of-course, these are my views, what are yours?