The Issue of Social Media Sustainability and Durability

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So this past week I’ve been mulling around on Facebook and it got me thinking about the usability of social media. Is this interactive form of marketing applicable in ALL circumstances?

I don’t think so.

Taking my work in tourism as an example, social media applications like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, Dopplr, Seesmic, Qik, etc. are more useful and have a higher potential for a decent ROI if the project is long-term, or more than 6 months. You don’t agree? Well, look closely at all the effort that it takes for someone in your department to make social media work for these projects. We have a National Treasure: Book of Secrets campaign in collaboration with Disney and were privy to an advance screening. Just two days before the screening, I started concocting ideas for what we could have done to make it more interactive and viral. To say the least, we did not come up with anything and solely left it with a website and a (coming soon) consumer-targeted e-mail.

So going back to today, I was working on Facebook for a Washington, DC page and I think this is truly more like a long-term endeavor. Developing a rapport with Flickr’ites and spearheading a Twitter account requires some work so why should you use it to focus on a short-term project? Thinking more long-term and strategically will help create a social media campaign that will sustain your audience and be durable against time. The Twitter accounts, YouTube channel, blogs/groups created on networking sites, updated listings on Wikipedia-type sites, and more should be targeted towards the overall product and when you have small campaigns like I did with National Treasure, you can put more emphasis on the call to action you want your customers to take.

Am I going off the deep end here? If you were in my situation, what would you do for the National Treasure campaign in terms of social media? Granted that some tools can be used for short durations, like mobile marketing games, but the strategic goal should be long-term, yes?

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