Recently, I have seen an increase in animosity and dissension among the social media, web and mobile marketing camps, each claiming superiority or greater relevance than the other. Many of the articles have powerful, accurate and needed advice on how to improve strategies and tactics in their specific area of interest. Unfortunately, the articles are often written in a competitive or counterproductive tone against their fellow digital media strategies or tactics.
That’s right, I said their “fellow” strategies or tactics because web, social and mobile marketing are all a necessary, symbiotic and powerful family. I have siblings (five to be exact) and I know that families can be highly competitive and temperamental. Unfortunately, our digital media family (web, social and mobile) is spending too much time shooting down our family, instead of working together to help build, promote and encourage this powerful symbiosis.
If each of us would invest more time in promoting our individual area of expertise, we would all see an increase in business, traffic and exposure simply by focusing our efforts on self-promotion, not degradation. In addition, think about how much more relevant each of our blogs, networks and content would be if we played like family and shared, linked and communicated for the betterment of each other. I can almost feel the campfire, hand holding and “Kumbaya” coming on.
The Symbiosis of Digital Media (Web, Social, Mobile)
Much of what I’ve written below is likely logical, common sense but I think many people have ‘lost that lovin’ feeling.’ Otherwise we wouldn’t be seeing all of the derogatory articles, making our family a competitive mess.
- Search (SEO, SEM and Content) - Search is huge, has been around forever and is a somewhat known entity, even if Google, Yahoo & Bing change the algorithm more frequently than the Kardashians appear on TV. Search has always valued and seen the importance of mobile and works to integrate mobile marketing and tools into everything they do. Since mobile is becoming the screen of choice for most, the relationship between search and mobile is a necessity.
The search industry started valuing social media early on, realized it could charge for the service or access to the users and then devalued it when Facebook and Twitter stopped paying to play. Search has “grown up,” partially to encourage Google+ but also to acknowledge the relevance and importance of real-time, micro-blogging and social networks in general. Even if they may have been forced to accept their crazy, Type-A, creative younger sibling, they finally have come around and are acting like a happy family.
- Social Media - I don’t need to explain how pervasive social media is; instead let’s look at how well it works with others. Search is best for finding answers to questions, research and getting medium, and long-form content on any subject matter the world can come up with. Unfortunately, with a ever-growing amount of relevant, usable content being created (often optimized for search), how do you determine rank, beyond an aging and manipulable optimization algorithm? Social media introduced the importance of time and velocity and helped provide even more opportunity to measure scale (of the importance of a piece of content). Today, search still looks at SEO but values, the recency of content and how quickly it is being shared. Finally, social helps improve the equation which determines the volume of people who find the content valuable.
Social media was big until their mobile apps improved, at which time social went global in a big way. Without mobile, social simply wouldn’t be as popular, nor would we know so much about its users. Mobile gives search and social access to highly marketable and valuable profiling data; it also gives them access to their users, anywhere, anytime.
- Mobile Marketing - I’ve covered many of the reasons why mobile and mobile marketing are an integral part of digital media. One thing I haven’t talked about yet (but is true of all of them) is the importance of income. Technology does not survive without customers, income and a balance sheet (that balances, eventually). Mobile, in addition to everything else, is the lottery ticket that both search and social need to sustain a viable, long-term, public company with decades of potential revenue opportunities. Not to mention, mobile has almost limitless potential in the application market and hardware opportunities we have only imagined in Hollywood. All of that will change, but ultimately will help improve, streamline and increase the income potential for web, social and mobile industries.
I hope that my friends in web, social and mobile will come together to see the importance of a symbiotic relationship and work together to build, promote and encourage each other to succeed. We don’t need to compete, we need to cheer each other on, share each other’s links and help our family members thrive, because in the end, the more one succeeds, the more opportunity all of us have.
On that note, when’s the next family reunion, my friends?