Ian Lyons is a Social Media Advisor - who works across most sectors including health, charity, finance, hospitality, education and entertainment. This is an article which has gathered a lot of interest - very quickly.
There's an interesting article on digitalbuzz contending that the focus on driving customers to a brand site is no longer effective. We have run the same analysis on the Australian market and the trends appear to be quite consistent: 50% declines in daily unique visits over the past 2 years (while search volumes for key terms in those categories remained the same or even increased).
Why the decline?
The DigitalBuzz article contends that;
1. We are hanging out in social sites where relevant content finds us through our friends rather than searching out brands
2. Content is being pushed off-site through mechanisms such as RSS Feeds, Twitter, YouTube Channels and Facebook Fan pages
It's the second part that I'm interested in exploring but first some pretty graphs ...
Okay - it all looks like we're losing interest in the interwebs - but wait, all that attention is going somewhere ...
Facebook & Twitter
Clearly facebook is the huge winner in terms of daily engagement although we may see twitter has made a good start and may overtake MySpace in the next 12 months!
What's a brand to do?
I think the opportunity is for brands to start thinking of themselves as publishers - of useful information for their customers. This means going beyond describing the product to telling stories about how it might impact someone's life. If this content is modular and shareable, it will find its way to social spaces where relevant conversations can happen around it. These conversations are where trust is built and people move closer to a purchase decision.
Rather than pushing out campaign centric content on your timeline, it's now important to be there (wherever your customers are) when they are in the buying cycle.
* Create customer centred content that is modular and has good metadata (descriptions)
* Give permission (and guidelines) for people to take it to other online spaces
* Attach a way to find you (for purchase or more info)
* Put metrics on the important bits and pay attention to what's working
* Monitor conversations and participate when appropriate
Here's an an entry on Adam Brand's (he's a client) web site ...
And here it is on his Facebook fan page where it gets a lot more interaction and social proof ...
So what do you think?
For a personal introduction to Ian - Contact US
Fyi, TotaleXec are totally sold on the power of social media. Before we even launched our website and started promoting ourselves, we already had a social media following and if you were googling for us...
Out of more than 10 million results, 5 out of the top 6 searches would have lead you to us: