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What Does the Anti-Social Network Movement Mean?
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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We have been hearing reports about those people and groups leaving social networks. People are claiming to be running away from Twitter. There was a report nearly a month ago that exclaimed that the number of people saying that they will be limiting their time on Facebook or even eliminating their Facebook profile has reached its highest point to date.

What does all of this mean?

Many of our colleagues may have suggestions. The truth is, no one knows for sure. This is a new frontier for all us. We are sure that social media won't be going anywhere anytime soon, but as fast as social media changes, it seems that the habits of its users change just as fast.

For example, we all know the "traditional" mass media of TV, radio, and print (newspaper). It took a very long time for mass media to finally start to fade, giving birth to niche marketing and the importance of integrated communications.

Now, with social media, would it be out of place to suggest that "mass social networks" like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter are experiencing a hyperdrive form of fragmentation?

Let's think about it.

With niche networks like Meetup, where people can create local communities online, and Fitocracy or EveryMove, where fitness-minded people are able to join groups, challenge each other, and earn discounts for working out, how can the social network giants compete?

Is that not the same question we asked about "traditional" media competing with the "new"?

Yes, the mass social networks will still be around. As these networks continue to adapt advertising models, they will stick around for some time. But we should not be blind to the prospect that other, smaller social networks may give our brands and organizations a bigger bang for our buck. Like many who moved from newspapers to the magazine, we too foresee these smaller, niche networks getting more attention and marketing dollars.

Welcome to the fast track of communication.

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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