The average person can quickly get bogged down by the hundreds of options for developing a social presence. Just yesterday, Google tossed their hat in the ring with Google Buzz, this foray into social networking clearly combats the success of Twitter and Facebook. I thought John Battelle captured the essence of this confusing move best in his blog:
The reality is, Facebook has won the social graph war. Google taking on Facebook for the social graph is akin to Facebook taking on google in web search. IE, silly. Google should incorporate Facebook Connect into Gmail/Buzz asap, and then build on top of it with its powerful services and algorithms. THAT would be a win.
In fact, one very well informed source of mine inside the non-Google socialsphere (IE, one of the major competitors) tells me he thinks Buzz will in fact play out, over the coming months, as *good* for his and other similar companies.
The endless cycle of innovation from both startups and giants alike is quickly pushing the bar forward in the social realm. However, with more and more social networks going live everyday, many brands may be jumping the gun in trying to establish a presence across as many networks as possible. While consumers can fly around from platform to platform, trying out all the new concepts with their peers. Brands need to focus on building value for those that matter most vs being the earliest adopter to the “next big thing.”
True community building is the fundamental pillar to success in the social web. We believe one of the main evolutionary cycles will be to curate an audience, while carefully building a community of people interested about your offerings. This process is much less about how many fans and social networks you’re involved with and more about driving value to the folks who choose to participate in your particular community.
So before you sign up for the “next big thing,” ask yourself if you’ve mastered the mediums you’re already involved with.