Everyone knows that social media sites like MySpace, Bebo and Facebook collect a large number of people to their sites. And lots of Internet marketers claim to be making vast amounts of money from them.
This Social Media Article from the New York Times shows that the social media sites themselves are not making as much money as everyone expected.
There’s no doubt that they will make more money as they go on because there’s been a recent upswing in interest in social media sites, advertising and marketing on them.
At the moment if you’re a traditional off-line business it’s difficult to see how you can use social media.
However, remember how satellite TV had vast rivers of cash poured into it. Satellite broadcasting lost money hand over fist for years. Think what Sky is like now? If you’d invested in Sky when it launched you’d be sitting pretty today. And yet everyone was shaking their collective heads saying it wasn’t something anyone needed, or could afford.
Equally the offline businesses who can move online and into social media before their competitors stand to gain significantly. Social media applied properly will get customers their competitors don’t even see.
History is littered with examples of businesses who assume everything will remain pretty much the same year after year. Yet regularly something comes along to upset that happy view. Think of the buggy whip manufacturers who thought cars would never be taken up because they were too pricey. What about the US rail tycoons who thought rail was the only transport system anyone would ever need.
Or nearer to home, IBM who assumed that PCs would be a useful little desk top monitor that would take some processing off their mainframes and maybe act as another inroad into their clients. Now many companies use PC servers, whereas previously IBM might have expected to get their computer business now it’s an open market. In addition IBM assumed the operating system for something so low budget (compared to a mainframe) would be irrelevant. So they let Bill Gates keep the operating system. And now look – Bill Gates and Microsoft are doing very well thank you.