This is a guest post by Jacob Morgan of Jacob Morgan’s Marketing Blog.
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As marketers and spammers (granted they are not the same, their objectives are similar and sometimes marketers inadvertently become spammers) continue to penetrate the social media marketing platforms, we are going to notice that social media platforms will begin to segment. In fact, the trend is already quite apparent.

Consider the following:

  • A platform exists that allows people to share pictures (Flickr)
  • A platform exists that allows people to buy/sell apartments (craigslist)
  • A platform exists that allows business professionals to connect (LinkedIn)
  • A platform exists that allows friends to connect (Myspace/Facebook)
  • A platform exists that allows people to share their wine preferences (Guru Del Vino)
  • A platform exists for people interested in group dating (ignighter)

The reality is that eventually there will be a platform to cater to virtually every marketing niche. Another example is the recent launch of Google Health, this platform allows users to create online health profiles, find doctors, and even download medical records.

With the “verticalization” of social media platforms (and eventually search) how is a marketer or spammer going to survive? Well there are two sides of the coin.

  1. With the sheer number of vertical platforms and their continued growth, there is just NO WAY that marketers and spammers are going to be able to keep up. There are tens of thousands of platforms, with many more appearing each day, and for every 100 platforms that are created, only 1 will survive. Sure, a marketer or a spammer can focus all of their efforts on the large sites such as Facebook or Myspace, but eventually when the “verticalization” kicks in, the amount of targeted advertising and marketing will be reduced drastically. So a marketer or a spammer is left with little choice, they must target as many social platforms as they can, and they are becoming increasing efficient at doing so.
  2. With the sheer number of platforms and their continue growth it is becoming increasingly EASY for spammers and marketers to reach their desired audience. If I am a marketer or spammer, I can focus on specific social media platforms that are catered to my exact target market, piece of cake.

Coin tossEssentially a marketer or a spammer has 2 choices, go after as many verticals as they can and hope that some of those verticals yield results. OR, focus on the target verticals and ignore the rest. The problem is that marketers and spammers pursue both avenues, there are those that try to target all the platforms, and there are those who try to target specific platforms. The point is that there is no way to prevent marketers or spammers from penetrating social media platforms. It doesn’t matter what side the coin lands on, it’s a trick coin and we always lose.

On a call with Seth Godin, I asked him where he sees the future of social media growth and how can we stop spammers? He responded that social media will continue to segment, and that there is no way to stop the spammers.

The coin was flipped and is in the air, call it…

Written by Jacob Morgan