Why Don't Some People Join Social Media Sites?

Feb 18, 2008 • 9:47 am | comments (13) by twitter | Filed Under Social Search Engines & Optimization

Over at Cre8asite Forums, member Risa asks about the appeal of social media sites. She's tried StumbleUpon, Facebook, and Twitter, but hasn't used them more than once.

She's not alone. Autocrat adds that he also struggles to understand social media when used in conjunction with search engine marketing.

So what does one do? Well, speaking as a social media aficionado myself, it didn't happen overnight that I started understanding the nuances of social media. At first, I hated Digg. Then I fell in love with it. I've been a StumbleUpon member since 2005. I started using it aggressively in 2007. Twitter wasn't that appealing in 2006 when I signed up. It's now almost indispensable when I use it for advice and networking -- and it's a great tool.

Social media takes time and investment. It also takes understanding what works for you and your business if that is how you intend to use it. Build a profile on one social site and let everything else follow.

What others don't understand is that social media is not search. It is not something you should try in lieu of a decent SEM strategy. If anything, social media should complement it.

I'd also recommend that others should acknowledge that while there are hundreds (thousands?) of social media sites out there, it may be compelling to focus on a social media site that aligns mostly with your interests, but if it isn't a heavily-trafficked site, your efforts will probably not meet your satisfaction. A site like StumbleUpon is great because you can really drill down to your wants and needs and get served (and serve) pages that fit in with your interests. And if you're an active participant, people will become your friend which makes it a lot easier to network.

Forum discussion continues at Cre8asite Forums.

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Lily Grozeva

02/18/2008 03:19 pm

Because people are sick of creating profiles on websites that they forget they exist on the next day. Most people hope that the SM website popping up each day will end soon, that only delicious, Stumble, Last.fm & Facebook will play on the field, so that you could actually be able to share & catch up on stuff (and people), somewhere where they are other people except, the sister you live with & Tom are your friends, that kind of reasons ...


02/18/2008 03:35 pm

I think you've hit it right on. I've been really experimenting with social media this year and I can understand how people might find it overwhelming. Despite little guides I've written for Twitter, my friends still come to me and say "what's the point?" or "I don't get what you're writing about!" I think the answer has to be a platform that people are somewhat familiar with, but with new features. Something like Facebook which at its essence is a Friendster (which people know), adding on new things like phototagging and applications (at least the useful ones), which people don't know, but it's not too overwhelming to try out.

Jason Forthofer

02/18/2008 04:48 pm

It can be overwhelming. I think as the newer generations grow up, knowing how these thinks work will be more known. However, their are so many that you have to join multiple ones just to "keep in touch" with all your friends. A site that could integrate the features/logins of all of them would be ideal. I think in 3 - 5 years you'll see what we experienced with all the ecommerce sites awhile back. The major players will rise and the others will not be able to turn a profit and disappear.


02/18/2008 05:00 pm

I have to agree, these sites rapidly lose their appeal. The wow factor of being able to see your friend's pics rapidly wears off as you deal with all the spam, commercials and pirate/zombie/ninja/jedi/funwall/superwall/uberwall/megawall crap. Left to their intended audience these sites are great...then big business moves in and crashes the party. Once people lose the 'updating bug' the site isn't worth the pixels it's displaying on.

No Name

02/18/2008 08:52 pm

I agree with this. Social Media takes time and investment. And it is based on personal involvement. I personally hate to network with anyone that isn't related to what I do. I am active on Myspace - but get tons of losers trying to network with me that have no business being on myspace. Too many MLMs or random businesses like magazine rack sellers. When I use LinkedIn, I am pretty confident most of them are professionals and most are related to what I do (SEO). But there are too many gimmick marketers (blogs, forums, UGC, myspace, youtube, social media marketing, etc.). These people, I wish I could shoot them. They sow lies and cause too many people to start spamming social media. I get defensive when I see people spam my forums and my social media portals. I do. I mean - to me, it's like going to a gym and fat - and telling the aerobics instructor what to do. Social media marketing can happen - but one must pay one's dues first.

Joe Flores

02/18/2008 10:40 pm

With social media continuing to grow @ such an alarming rate, simply establishing a profile does not quantify, nor monetize your social network. using an existing SEO approach, coupled with your social network efforts will work in the long run...

John L

02/18/2008 11:50 pm

I have to admit I do not understand these social media sites. I am 46 so maybe that is the problem. I have an account on Facebook with, I think, about ten friends. Don't know any of them. None of my real friends go on these sort of sites and I only login about once every two or three months. I spend about five minutes maximum on there and come out still not seeing the point of it. If I want to contact a friend I will email, text or phone them. I don't want to mess around with all of this rubbish with all the security implications created by the applications used on them. My teenage daughter loves Facebook. Maybe that whole sentence sums it up.

Barrie Adams

02/19/2008 10:08 am

I know quite a few people who regularly use the internet, but wont sign up to any social network sites either due to them 'not getting what its about' (so I say why not try) or for the fear of identity fraud!! I think ID fraud may be an issue that hasnt been covered properly, there is a state of paranoia with some people.


02/19/2008 04:27 pm

I used to really enjoy myspace a lot about 2-3 years ago while in college. Since then, I decided that it was too time consuming, so I deleted my account. I understand how social networking works, but if I want to start back into it for business purposes, how do I do that? Do I create a myspace page dedicated to my work and attract referrals through it? Do I use it for SEO link building? I can see this working for certain target markets, but not all. Does this sound right, or am I missing the big picture?

Justin Seibert

02/19/2008 10:25 pm

All good factors in the post and replies. One more to consider: sometimes there's a very clique-y feel to social media sites (or forums or blog commenting communities) that intimidate or turn off folks who don't push through to become a regular user.


02/20/2008 02:42 am

others sign in but forget there username and password on the next day, I guess some of this users don"t know how to use social media sites :)


03/16/2011 05:54 pm

i think most people get confused using the social media sites.the interface is too complicated for those who are less sophisticated


08/19/2011 04:59 am

I know many people who use the Internet regularly, but used to register for all social networking sites is because of them "do not get what it is" (so I say why not try) or fear of identity theft! I think that identity fraud can be a problem that was not covered properly, there is a state of paranoia in some people. SEO Company

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