Skip to main content

The Coming Consolidation in Social Networking


Social media sites are multiplying like rabbits. A while back, I posted the Alexa rankings for 42 popular Web 2.0 social tagging sites. Later, I wrote about a couple more, and newer sites such as Twitter keep popping up. Wikipedia lists more than 100 social networking sites, and Social Media Trader recently compiled an even more exhaustive list of 115 social news and bookmark sites rated by PageRank, number of inbound links and dollar value of each site.

Inevitably, there will be a shakeout and consolidation of this space. As Paul Dunay points out, the explosion of social media sites has spawned its own acronym: YASN (Yet Another Social Network). Over time, virtually all markets consolidate around three major players (for example, Google, Yahoo and MSN in search) plus a few wannabes (e.g. Ask, AOL) and a number of niche sites (Mahalo). There simply isn't enough traffic to support 100+ social media sites, although "social media" is defining the market a bit too broadly. Two to three leaders are likely to emerge within each segment of social media, such as tagging/bookmarking (e.g., del.icio.us, Digg, Furl, Backflip), community (MySpace, Searchles), networking (LinkedIn, Facebook), etc.

The leaders will garner high amounts of traffic appealing to a wide market. The sites that fail to make it to the elite level will likely need to specialize as niche players in order to survive—sacrificing traffic quantity for focused traffic quality. The strategy will probably be to focus around affinity groups: these could be based on demographics, location, hobbies, religion, political affiliation, professional interest or any of a number of other categories. For example, B2B buyers and vendors are unlikely to want to congregate on the same sites where tweenagers are babbling about Hannah Montana, and kids could care less about developments in database technology or network appliances.

At least a few social media sites have already taken this route, such as BeeTooBee in B2B marketing and DZone for software developers. The existing generalists who fail to make it into the top tier will either need to identify underserved niches or provide compelling differentiating features to lure traffic away from incumbent specialty sites.

*****


Contact Mike Bannan: mike@digitalrdm.com

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

AHREFS tops the marketing blunder list of 2018

It’s Early in 2018 and AHREFS tops the marketing blunder list It’s only the first week in February and you are reading about the Metrics/Data supplier that has provided us with fodder by creating a huge marketing blunder, Ahrefs.

Ahrefs is world's biggest third-party database of search queries with refined monthly search volume and research metrics.  Their data is used by untold numbers of digital marketers across the world.  Arguably they are the industry leader in this type of data.  The only thing that they changed was how a tiny item in their metrics was being calculated. 
About a week prior to the effective date of the change, Ahrefs notified users that a change was coming to how they calculated a domain rating or DR.  They also stated that many sites would see their rankings drop.  I agree that a need for change was warranted.  What I don’t agree with how they calculated the change and its ramifications for roughly 75% of all websites.  

This past Friday evening around 11 P.…

Have a Relaxing Sunday

Even though we are all relaxing, the search engines never sleep! Make sure you keep track of the status of any websites you are doing SEO work for with ahrefs!

Strategy is Key!

One of the most important sectors of any marketing company is the team who comes up with marketing strategies for customers. Without the proper strategies, a business will have no road map to lead them to the profitability they are paying for. Leaving your services looking silly and useless.