Social Media Sites: Here to Stay?
SEO experts agree that social media sites are the
most pervasive and popular internet trend since the dot.com explosion.
They also agree that, while there are vast similarities between the
dot.com boom and the proliferation of social media websites, there are
also some distinct differences.
Industry experts predict that roughly 230 million internet users
currently belong to a social media site, and that the number will grow
until 2009. By 2012, they believe, the number of new members will level
off. 2012 should also see a combined social media site revenue of $2.4
billion, compared to $970 million in 2007.
Who belongs to social media sites? 35% of the total users are from the
Asian Pacific nations. Europe, the Middle East, and Africa account for
28% of users, while North America boasts 25%. 12% of all users are from
the Caribbean and Latin America.
As with all growing industries, many experts predict that consolidation
is inevitable, with smaller social media sites being taken over by the
bigger sites. Other experts feel that those small sites catering to a
particular niche will be able to avoid the trend towards consolidation.
The hype over social networking is surely what drives the comparison
with the dot.com boom. This, of course, causes experts to wonder how
social networking sites will parallel the dot.com bust. Despite the
popularity and predicted growth of social media sites, many industry
experts are hesitant to claim that they are a sure thing. Because the
sites haven't been around long enough to prove that they will exist
indefinitely, some investors approach them with trepidation. While many
are interested in the potential for growth of the social media sites,
there is some doubt as to whether they are a sustainable industry for
the long haul. The most conservative experts recommend that most social
media sites resist the IPO urge.
Even Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, states that Facebook
is many years away from being able to float on its own, despite its
popularity and astronomical growth.
There is certainly no arguing that social media sites are changing the
way we communicate, advertise, and connect. But, as previous experience
suggests, the excitement over new social media can't last forever.
Media attention and user curiosity have boosted revenues and creativity
that will surely come to an end at some point.
Does this mean that social media sites have no future? Certainly not.
The future looks bright for the industry, though it's difficult to
predict at this point just how big the whole industry will get. But
given the uncertainty of the future of social media sites, investors
would do well to prepare for the inevitable changes.
In a 2007 report, Ri Pierce of Grove Technology (also an analyst at
Datamonitor, based in the UK) provided several tips to help companies
manage these changes:
. Develop a two-pronged approach to dealing with social media sites. On
one hand, determine how your company will manage the current popularity
of the industry. On the other hand, figure out how your company will
deal with the leveling off in the popularity that is sure to come. This
requires companies to establish and maintain infrastructure required to
run these types of websites.
. Find alternative ways of supporting social-networking services,
particularly those that address scalability and availability.
. Social media sites should investigate social media optimization.
Rohit Bhargava, Senior Vice President of Digital Strategy and Marketing
for Ogilvy 360 Digital Influence, has established five rules for such
o Make it easy for your audience to tag and bookmark your site.
o Reward backlinks
o Make sure your content can travel
o Enable mashups, applications that combine data from multiple sources
into a single tool.
o Increase your site's linkability.
If you're still wondering how to adapt your internet marketing campaign
to the future of social media sites, you may consider consulting an SEO
expert or internet marketing professional. They will be able to help
you determine how best to plan for the future.
Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/technology-articles/
About the Author
Seomul Evans is a senior SEO Services with
"SEO 1 Services" a Dallas firm providing SEO
Marketing and freeinternet marketing