Before there was Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others there were other social media networks. The success of the previously mentioned has meant today’s social media users believe there is some stability. However, if anything, the history of the social media realm has taught us that at anytime, something might come along to disrupt that view.
There have been numerous high ranking sites that have slid into obscurity over the number of years. Here are a few of them and what we can learn from their demise:
Anyone who was an older teen or young adult around 2005 up until 2008 will remember Bebo. The site provided the user with a profile that permitted them to upload blog posts, images, music, video and questionnaires. It also allowed for the sharing of ‘love’ – which eventually became a game on who could collect the most. This often meant that users were spammed by hundreds of messages from individuals requesting some ‘love’.
This, while very similar to the way people attempt to gain ‘likes’ on Instagram, became a very annoying feature. It forced people into a never ending cycle of ‘love’ exchanges and made it very difficult as a platform to use.
The site also had a small core user group – the British public. This meant when other sites became more popular and the Bebo users left, there wasn’t much there for the developers to hang on to. This resulted in the company filing for bankruptcy in 2013.
Lesson: Don’t spam individuals on social media; it will force them to move away from your brand.
The once king of all social media platforms, this is the one which can provide the most lessons for businesses. The site launched in 2003 and grew to prominence by 2005. The quick growth of the site caught the attention of multiple media groups and saw it sold for $580 million.
The site was pretty much the early Facebook with similar options and traits as the hugely successful staple of social media marketing nowadays. Back when Facebook was still young, MySpace even attempted a $75 million takeover of Facebook only to be rejected on the valuation of the platform.
What happened after the acquisition of this platform is truly remarkable. The site lost popularity very quickly. Partly because of Facebook’s rise but also because of the amount of advertising that was being implemented within the system.
In the end, NewsCorp sold the platform for $35 million which has made it one of the worst business acquisitions in history.
Lesson: Don’t use too many adverts within your campaigns. Users don’t appreciate it.
Before there was Instagram and Pinterest, there was Profile Pic, the original selfie-sharing network. The main purpose of this site was to obtain the attention of a significant other. The site was never one that was going to be a long-term success with a strategy based on looks.
With little else to recommend it and users now focusing on what they can learn from social media content, there was bound to be some audience connection issues that would drive them way.
Lesson: Images are important, but content is essential.
Although some social media platforms have been around for a long time, others have not. For each
failure there are important lessons to implement within the current strategies that we use on social networks. For instance, don’t be too vain - post relevant content that our users will want to interact with, and to be light on the advertising so readers can digest your content. Finally, you should limit the amount you send out at any one time. Spam does not encourage trust within your brand and forces users to find new suppliers of quality content.
Implementing these lessons will allow you to be successful in your online marketing pursuits as you increase website traffic, leads and sales.
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