With Social Media, There’s Always Room at the Table
Just when you think you’re on all the social networks that matter, new ones appear seemingly overnight. It can be frustrating to stay on top of all things social media because with each new network comes a new set of rules and a new community to join.
This time last year, while I was happily socializing on Facebook and Twitter, two major
networks were brewing. Google+ and Pinterest were getting ready to take the social world by storm – and steal even more of my time!
Now that I’m well acquainted with both of these social media phenoms, I have to wonder how I could possibly squeeze even one more social network into my daily routine. Pan
out to consider the entire social media universe, and it becomes even more mind-boggling – how is there room for any more social networks in a seemingly saturated social media market?
I think the answer is two-fold: People use these networks to fulfill different
communication needs, and the newer networks are incredibly content-focused.
A Network for Every Need
The first reason the social media space is so roomy is pretty straightforward. Different networks serve different communication purposes. While Facebook networks seem to revolve around acquaintances in real life, Twitter is for reaching the entire online world. You may share photos of your kids and the latest happenings in your personal life with family and friends on Facebook, while using Twitter to network with professionals in your industry who you may not have even met in the offline world. Tumblr may be your online destination for reposting the best articles you find online, allowing your inner curator to
come out and play.
And, Pinterest may help you brainstorm new ideas for decking your halls for the holidays or putting together a fabulous outfit for Girls’ Night Out.
The point is that the social creatures in all of us have many different needs for communicating, sharing and expressing ourselves. With a little bit of online exploring, you can uncover a network – or five – that can satisfy all your social wants and needs.
And the thing about wants and needs is they are endless. Right now, marketers and developers are conjuring up a social network that satisfies social needs you didn’t even know you had. And – if things go their way – once introduced, that new network will become the next social media darling, and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. Don’t believe me? There are growing legions of Pinterest fans who can back me up!
Our Appetite for Content
The other reason new social networks thrive is that they provide more stories to read, more photos to view, and more videos to share. Fortunately for writers and other creators, our appetite for fresh, engaging content is insatiable. We’re reading more than ever before, and the range of material we’re devouring is expanding in new and exciting ways.
Social networks provide a fertile breeding ground for new content to spring up on any topic you care to explore. People are posting and reposting about everything from breaking global news to the newest hobbies and health tips. Curating comes into play here as well, because we each have the ability to shape the content we consume by choosing who to allow into our social networks. I know I can get the latest marketing industry information on Twitter and keep up with my crafting friends on Pinterest. And, with Google+ Circles, the ability to organize friends according to interest is endless.
With iPads and other mobile devices, we can read while riding the subway, standing in line, or waiting for the movie to start. We’re reading more and more, and our reading takes a variety of forms, from ebooks and news articles to tweets and blog posts. But it’s all content, and it all must be created and shared. And, don’t forget the hundreds of photos we look at weekly, or the online videos that are stealing us away from TV. Social networks allow this exponential amount of content to be created, repurposed, and passed on so we can all get our share of the content we crave.
So, there you have it – two reasons I think there will always be room at the social media table for new networks that allow us to communicate and share with each other. As I mentioned before, humans are social creatures – we always have been – and social media is now helping to unleash our inner, social beasts.
What do you think? Do you see the social media cup as infinitely half empty, or already nauseatingly full?