The Social Media Breaking Point

Posted on April 1, 2011 by

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The list of social networking websites is long, to say the least. There are even articles listing the “50 social media sites that every business needs a presence on”. Fifty! And you thought managing your Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts was a lot of work.

The number of social media outlets presents a serious issue. When will marketing on these sites reach a breaking point? Given that many schools and businesses are still figuring out how to assert their presence on these sites, I don’t believe the breaking point has been reached for higher ed as a whole, but it is possible that schools are finding their own limits.

The first reason for this is simply logistics. There are too many sites and not enough people to monitor them. In addition, the nature of these sites means that people can post as often as they want from anywhere and at any time. This threatens to rapidly unravel a school’s foray into the social media world. Some institutions, such as the NCAA, recommend limits to how often “credentialed” media can post, while others wonder if these limits are merely the NCAA fighting the inevitable.

The ridiculous amount of social media sites. Image courtesy of Flickr user birgerking.

Another reason that schools are meeting their breaking point is that measuring ROI on social media sites can be difficult. No one wants to spend time wasting time. And no institution wants to pay for it. Social media sites may be all the rage, but there’s no sense investing time and money in them if they yield no returns.

In order to not spread your resources or your budget too thin, is it a good idea to set your own critical limit? Are you better at Facebook updates than Foursquare check-ins? Have you found a social media outlet with proven results and decided to focus on that one, while nixing others? Are there any problems with social media that I forgot to mention? Let me know in the comments.

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Posted in: Marketing