Is Share More Important than Search?

by Steve Heideman on October 7, 2010

Image from O'Reilly Media

Last month Facebook overtook Google as the number one online destination. In America alone, we spent 685,000 hours or 41.1 million minutes on Facebook in August, compared with 39.8 million minutes spent on Google, according to comScore. WOW.
The last decade was about organizing information and using algorithms to rank it according to it’s “relevance”. This decade is about the social web where human beings decide what is relevant and what isn’t. This is the decade where the strength of a personal recommendation can be spread across 500 million people in the blink of an eye. The folks at facebook have termed this “the social graph”. The social graph is the sum of all connections that an individual has across their friends, family and the world around them. Facebook contends that this social graph can become the most powerful media and marketing tool ever created—here’s why:
Facebook users spend 700 billion minutes per month on the site sharing 30 billion pieces of content worldwide. All that sharing is done by REAL PEOPLE. Think about this, all it takes for someone to share their enthusiasm about a brand or idea that they are attracted to is the click of a button. Instantly, all the people that they are connected to see this and because their friends care about them, they share it with their friends as well. When this person becomes a fan of your brand, and you give them valuable things to share with their friends, they become part of your brand’s social equity.
When we search and find something, that is pretty much the end of the story. We consume the information and we move on to the next thing. But when we share something, we are at the beginning of a conversation. Whether you start a conversation or join one, your ability to be relevant to your target market as a business or brand is higher than it has ever been before. Brands that have figured this out are thriving in this new world paradigm that is being shaped even as you read this. Brands that haven’t—well, maybe you should share this with them as food for thought 😉

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