First a quick definition – Community-Based Marketing vs. Social Media.
Social Media to me sounds slippery. Like it’s a fad, phase or worse a “trend”. And in some ways it is. It suddenly became the darling of the “Web 2.0″ world and everyone was an expert that had ever written on a blog. But for those of use in this industry… Read More http://bit.ly/exBiQ
1. What about saturation?…
Short answer, on a social network saturation is annoying even if I am the proponent. A great topic, it is an interesting reflection of our humanness and one to watch. The two-spaces option is a rational model of an organic process. As humans we tend to catalogue things and define their relationship (at the base) along a single partition, before and after, we poke and interact with them. As a “consumer” of social media, I think you have to keep your hand on the tiller, predict and interact, not react. The waters are much less predictable than metrics may be able to tell you. Metrics assumes you have a base for comparison. The protocols of new channels take time to evolve and you don’t want to oppress their potential by forcing them to react to over-stimulation. I guess I define saturation as over exposing your product or service in the market; like say, Kleenex, a brand that is so embedded in the language that any brand of tissue hits its target. You want clients/friends/both to seek you out for your specialty, but you don’t want them to opt out, because you answer their question over and over.
In a profession network, the protocols are well defined along common interests, answer before asked; but in the broadest sense of a social network, protocols are fluid. For example, Facebook’s intent was a professional/personal social network, but the professional side dims more and more with its popularity to the extent where mining professional information is a subversive affront to privacy. A professional network expects its data to be mined for mutual benefit. An interesting case to watch is Twitter users on Caltrain, http://cow.org/c/about. Users post information about specifics as they ride along in real time; users Tweet about which cars are clean, which are quiet, delays, which bathrooms work, even satiric comments from frustration are expressed. So far, Caltrain reads the Tweets, but does not directly participate in the network. Instead, they clean cars, fix bathrooms, etcetera, interacting without reacting. Caltrain can mine specific data about conditions in their service without ever asking directly or accepting responsibility for the question. They can solve real time nuts/bolts maintenance without negative media connotations, and avoid saturating the market with information/reactions about those issues of their brand.
As the two-space model expands and retracts, I guess the trick is to find specific intersections, use them in real time let them go, find the next intersection, and repeat. The market is the potential intersections. Hum, saturation must occur when the networks intersect, define the market as those intersections, and then assume the intersection is the only market.
However, I don’t mean to saturate you on this topic.