Social Media Is More Than The ‘F’ Word

To take a line from a recent Simply Zesty article I just read would be the title of this blog. Despite Facebook’s IPO bomb, social media does not begin or end with Facebook. Yet, many companies are willing to put all of their eggs in the ‘F’ basket. In fact, that seems to be the mentality across many sectors.

Recently, I had a conversation with a venture capitalist who said, “If Facebook fails, that’s the end of social media.” I thought really? Is this what everyone thinks? Because blogging and LinkedIn are forms of social media, and they’ve both been around a heck of a lot longer than Facebook.

For me, and I suspect most social media marketers, Facebook is a necessary evil. For all of the things it can do, there’s a laundry list of what we wish it could do. And, chances are your clients have drank the Kool-Aid long ago and want to be on Facebook.

But it’s not all about Facebook. Although Facebook has been a pioneer in social networking, whether or not they succeed or fail will not make or break the social media industry. To think so would be the equivalent of thinking that there wouldn’t be any other internet browser aside from AOL, I mean Yahoo!, whoops, I mean Google, no wait, Bing… and I could go on but you get the point. If Facebook fails, there will most definitely be another social network that will come along to take its place and succeed. I guarantee it. Could it be Google? Maybe. But it could also be someone new that you’ve never heard of who will redefine social networking in a way you haven’t even thought of yet. Remember when Google redefined how we thought of the Internet? And how Apple made us think differently about basically everything?

So why do most businesses put all of their eggs into the Facebook basket? Presumably because they’ve seen some sort of result from their Facebook investment that they think is worthy of more time and money invested in the platform. But just like when you invest in your 401K, you need to diversify your assets. You can’t just have one strategy on one platform and hope for the best.

A few months ago Pinterest and Instagram were the social networks du jour and now there is a huge focus on social analytics. As the layers of social media continue to evolve, our focus is turning more toward the integration of mobile and social. And currently, there are few brands who are doing both well right now. These days, in order to stay relevant you need to be digital, social, and mobile. Plus, you need to be able to measure all of your efforts.

As a business owner you need to think beyond Facebook. Even if Facebook is successful with mobile, will they execute it the best? Will there be another social network that you’ll need to integrate soon? Facebook has done a good job so far of staying a step ahead of everyone else, or a close step behind its rivals. But can it keep up the pace?

Ask yourself this question: What will your marketing strategy be if Facebook suddenly goes belly up? 


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About Tracy Sestili

Tracy Sestili is CEO and Chief blogger at Social Strand Media. She is also the author of Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field -- Social Media Fundamentals for Business.