So many social sites, so little time


flipboardEver heard of Moore’s law?

It’s a term coined by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore back in the 1960s to describe the evolution of computing hardware. It states, basically, that every 2 years, computers’ processing speed will double. Amazingly enough, over the past half-century, that’s pretty much what’s happened: Computers are getting better and faster at an exponential rate.

Last year, Facebook wunderkind Mark Zuckerberg suggested that a similar law might exist for sharing on social networks. We’ve seen rates of sharing roughly double every two years—meaning in 10 years, we’ll be sharing about 1,000 times as much as we do now. (Scary thought, if you ask me.)

The content creation boom
I’m no expert, but I wonder if the same applies to the creation—and instant popularity—of new sharing platforms. The huge number of people already onboard with social media makes it easier than ever for new sites to catch on—and has removed barriers to entry for new platforms to get funded, get developed, and make it big. Look no further than the almost-overnight global obsession with sites like Pinterest for evidence of this.

The latest platform we’ve got our eyes on? Flipboard, a “social magazine” where users can curate news content tailored to their interests. Last month, the company announced they’ll allow readers to build their own digital magazines on any topic, and share their creations with others. By the way, Flipboard’s already got 50 million users—and counting.

For users, each platform launch is great news, offering a brand-new way to connect, create, and express oneself. But it’s no surprise that these same launches make marketers shudder. If you’ve ever felt like you’ve barely crafted one social profile to perfection, only to discover five new sites that have popped up in the meantime, you’re not alone.

Stick to what you’re good at

Great content marketing and an online presence are essential for brand awareness. But they don’t come easy—regularly publishing content that’s fresh, original, and shareable requires serious dedication. And the more networks we join and statuses we have to update, the bigger this obligation grows.

So what’s a social-savvy brand to do? Our advice: Instead of spreading yourself thin across the Web, try cultivating a strong, content-rich presence on two or three carefully chosen sites. And think before following blindly when something new comes along. Ask yourself what the site is really offering. How does it connect users? Who’s the target audience? And how does this fit in to your brand’s strategy? If you’re unsure if your business belongs on a site—or if you doubt your commitment to maintaining a profile there—do yourself a favor and hold off.

Methods of content creation will only continue to evolve, and at an ever-increasing pace. And if Moore was right, we won’t master every last one—nobody can. But we’ll do our best to keep a finger on the pulse of change. To educate ourselves on what’s new, who’s using it, and why it’s so cool. That way, we can advise our clients on what sites are the perfect fit for them—and then help them get involved.

Mary Dixon is a writer and editor for Dragonfly Editorial.

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