In the wake of all the buzz surrounding Quora, which is an old concept (online Q&A) wrapped in a nice social skin, one thing has become apparent: the novelty of social media is pretty much over.
The major players and platforms are established – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, WordPress – and most people have heard about them or using them. It was only a couple of years ago that social media was something shiny and new; now it’s becoming just another part of the communications landscape.
So, now what?
For starters, social media is losing its lustre as a competitive differentiator. It’s no longer good enough to be first or among the first to leverage a social media service. Being on Facebook and Twitter is now table stakes. Blogs are boring (and that’s not a bad thing), while LinkedIn is no longer a mystery (although getting a lot of out it is still somewhat of a mystery).
Using social media just means you’re in the game. Now, the key is making sure that you play the game well, which all about really leveraging the tools and services as much as you can.
The most important part of the “game” is content because this is where creativity, engagement, energy and smarts can be effectively and powerfully layered on top of social media services. Content is what will separate the wheat from the chaff.
Companies that can create high-quality content will rise above the crowd because creating great content is a lot more challenging than simply starting a Twitter or Facebook account.
All the attention now being showered on Quora illustrates how social media is no longer new or unique. Quora is interesting but it’s not a show-stopper or likely not something that will go mainstream. But Quora is one of the few new-ish social media services around so it’s the talk of the town – sort of the new kid at school who becomes less interesting within a few days.
If you’re a company looking to do well at social media, you’ll need a strategic and tactical plan but, increasingly, success will be determined by the quality of your content – be it blog posts, videos, photos, contests, polls or interesting tweets and updates.