Dennis D. McDonald ( consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management.

The Importance of Mixing Traditional and Social Media

By Dennis D. McDonald

I'm getting a couple of "please join this Facebook group" requests every day. I accept some if they come from people I know or if they deal with topics that interest me professionally. At the same time  I am reducing the number of social networks I actively participate in. I'm also restricting the effort I put into creating content for "closed" systems such as Facebook.

The reason for my hesitancy is that I regularly use my blog as a way to target the different professional groups I network with. For example, I frequently email blog post links that reflect my contact's interests. I won't have the same freedom with Facebook content since, unlike my blog, Facebook is open only to members. This impacts its general visibility to the web via standard indexing programs and RSS feeds.

For me this is an issue. Many of my contacts are not part of the various professional communities I belong to. Many potential clients and employers, for example, are not knowledgeable about social media and networking. Limiting communication to  those would be commercial suicide. (This is one of the reasons why I am recommending a mixed traditional and viral marketing communications strategy to a high tech firm I am currently developing a proposal for.)

Still, a major feature  of Facebook is the ease with which one can instantly develop special interest groups. I believe this single feature is a threat to any professional association that generates revenue through products or services that are restricted to members only.

What do you think? Do you think I'm being too concerned about the closed nature of Facebook (and other closed social networking systems)?



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