Too many choices?

During spring break I had a conversation with someone about the different types of social media and how they were changing the way people communicate with one another. This person explained to me that they did not fully understand the point of all the different applications available and that they did not know where to even start because there were so many to choose from.

Although I am not a self-professed social media guru, I have tried a variety of them and have a basic understanding of them, but this got me thinking about it. Are there so many different types of social media applications that the market is being overrun? Are we going to end up facing a quantity vs. quality problem?  

On his blog, “The Glass House”, Frank Shaw, President of Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, addresses this problem of being “overrun by ‘new’ communications”.  There are so many new social media applications currently being utilized by companies and organizations, but many turn to the most current application and forget the “old” effective ways of communicating. Can it be argued that Twitter can convey the same message as an email?  It is almost as if people are replacing the informative e-mail with a 140 character tweet.

I believe the solution to integrating social media into an effective public relations campaign to find a balance between the old and the new. A tweet may be a great way to get an idea out there, but sending an email should be used to send more in-depth information.  Also, stretching information across multiple facets of social media could make the message less effective. Using the application or applications that best fit the information would be much more effective.

With countless social media applications in use today on the internet, do you think it is effective to be a part of all of the applications? Or just particular ones that meet your specific client’s needs? Is it possible to be too involved in social media?

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6 Responses to Too many choices?

  1. lmdavis2 says:

    I completely agree with you, it is important to adapt to new social medias BUT while not forgetting the old. There is no way a twitter post can contain the same depth of information that an email can. However, a tweet can be a quick and broad message to reach more people.

    It is our job to decifer which mean is the best to reach our stakeholders on a specific issue.

    I think it is possible to be TOO involved in social media. If you don’t focus in on certain medas your message becomes lost and you lose your targeted stakeholders.

  2. haleypetersonasu says:

    You serve a VERY GOOD POINT. At times, it almost overwhelming how many entities the social media market currently possesses.

    In regards to a PR campaign, I also feel that the LESS IS MORE ideal applies. Maybe choosing one or two social media outlets such as Facebook or Twitter may be the best way to get a name out there or brand a certain company, object etc. You have to think about the public and their needs. Would X stakeholder use a certain type of social media? What would be easiest for them to access? Which form of social media is most widely known and has the largest following?

    For me personally, when something is layed out in front me, is easy to access and has no strings attached, I am 99% more likely to take that route than the less traveled when learning about a product or company.

    It will be interesting to see how much further the world of social media will continue to grow. Will there continue to be creations of more and more outlets or will the strongest current outlets just continue to advance? It is like the survival of the fittest (or most socially savvy).

    Less is more…less is more.

  3. jejepson says:

    lmdavis2- I agree that it is possible to be too involved in social media. When we enter the workforce we have the benefit of already being educated on social media, we will just have to make sure that it is known that less is more when it comes to it.

  4. jejepson says:

    haleypetersonasu- I completly agree that when an application is layed out in a simple manner, I am much more willing to use or participate. I think that the majority of internet users function this way. I think that this should be taken into consideration when PR pros are using social media in their campaigns’.

    Less is more is a great approach and I beleive that in the end it is much more effective.

  5. mjcavaleri says:

    Ultimately, the platforms which can do everything in the most functional manners are going to win. There are going to be ridiculous amounts of social media until someone can find a way to integrate everything together in one package.

    Personally, I find it troublesome that I have a bunch of different accounts on a bunch of random Web sites with different names and passwords (thanks, Dr. Gilpin). Maybe if they social networks linked with each other you could have one super account to control them all, which would make my life easier.

    Of course this won’t happen though because it actually makes sense.

  6. jejepson says:

    mjcavaleri- Even though the platforms with the “most functional manners” are going to win out, aren’t there numerous platforms that are considered to be functional? Do you think that it is really possible to put all elements together into one package?
    I do agree that it does become cumbersome to have so many different user names and passwords.

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