Social media for businesses is the newest wave sweeping through corporate America and companies are trying to figure out how to implement (or if to implement) a social media plan. As we discussed in yesterday’s post “Social Media – The Shopping Mall Analogy,” a lot can be learned by examining a shopping mall analogy when trying to figure out the role of the various “hot” websites and services on the internet.
By way of review, consider that the internet is “the mall to end all malls.” The internet is where the world is moving to engage in commerce, and the best stores in the mall are setting up to take advantage of the known traffic patterns that are emerging (just as stores in a traditional mall want to be located near the anchor tenant to benefit from the large volume of consumers).
Yesterday, we saw how Google and Craigslist were positioned and used in the mall, today we look at Youtube, Wikipedia, and Amazon. So let’s take a stroll in the mall and see what these stores/websites are doing:
- Youtube – At the center of the mall is a massive food court. Mall visitors often take a break from shopping by grabbing a bite to eat and sharing their stories and observations with other people at the food court. They show videos on the mobile devices offering everything under the sun, mostly just quickly assembled videos of what they find entertaining. Some of the people at the food court are actually promoting something, knowing that the tired shoppers will view just about anything as long as it entertains. And providing that the content is moderately clean, mall management allows anybody to post their videos at the food court. In fact, the food court is so popular, it is one of the highest trafficked areas in the mall. Top marketers recognize the popularity of the food court, so they spend a good bit of time mingling with shoppers there and trying to create videos that the shoppers will pass among each other.
- Wikipedia – Mall information is staffed with volunteers who gladly provide information about everything in and outside of the mall. They can tell you about the history of every store and all of the significant players in the mall. Additionally, they are always looking for more volunteers so that their database of information can continue to grow. The best internet marketers ensure that their company has a Wiki entry and that it remains both current and favorably accurate.
- Amazon – Forget Barnes and Noble or whatever local bookstore that you currently favor, imagine a “never out of stock” bookstore that not only features contemporary hits, but also is contains every book that is available (on earth). Take it one-step further and understand that you are one of millions of shoppers at this bookstore, and you can always ask your fellow shoppers what they think about a specific book or the seller of the book. Amazon.com just might be the best website on the internet for companies to emulate.