Sustainability and Durability

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 own 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. With 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 strategic 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 there are SOME tools that can be used for short durations, like mobile marketing games, but the strategic goal should be long-term, yes?

By Ken Yeung

Ken Yeung is a journalist fascinated with the stories of the tech industry and internet culture. He's currently the Technology Editor at Flipboard, where he observes what's happening in the space while also identifying new topics of interest. In addition, he co-hosts the weekly internet show "The Created Economy," which focuses on what's happening to creators and influencers. Previously, he was a reporter for VentureBeat and The Next Web, covering tech startups, the industry's innovations and funding. Ken also has a newsletter you should also subscribe to called "Filed."