Is Anyone Else Tired of Social Media?

I must admit, I'm tired of hearing about social media. I know it won't go away.... And I like social media, I just don't like talking about it in the context of fundraising. It's like "fundraising in a down economy" was about a year ago. Over it. That said, I'm going to keep an open mind.

I'm at a roundtable discussion where Wealth Engine is presenting on research's use of social media. Most researchers use social media after using proprietary databases, to flesh out a profile with anecdotal information. There are also some concerns regarding embellishment on the part of prospects who post. Most researchers feel the need to validate the data obtained through social media because of this.

In my mind, the debate over "is it ethical to use social media" is largely over. Three to four years ago, this was a big topic at conferences. Now, not so much.

Tidbit: Folks age 45 to 65 are the biggest growth in Facebook users right now.

Not surprisingly, social media is useful for proactive research (who's talking about us?), as well as reactive research.

If you are not tired of social media, Wealth Engine will be publishing a white paper soon. Overall, I would say their research does look helpful for folks who are still fascinated by social media.

We're having a nice roundtable discussion about social media. Our conversation is focused on analytics. We're not sure exactly how to incorporate social media directly into predictive modeling... However, I did pick up an intereting tidbit. Apparently there is a service called Class Act which allows you to connect social media handles to your actual constituents.

SonarMe: location-based social networking based on Twitter and Facebook.

We're talking a fair amount about privacy concerns -- is it weird to have marketers do micro-targeting based on social network data? If you'd asked me that question three years ago, I would have a really different response. These days I'm comfortable with it -- companies are going to market to me anyway. They might as well stop trying to sell me mini-vans and start trying to sell me stuff that actually interests me, like tech gadgets.

A lot of participants agree that it's a matter of time before Facebook sells their data. LinkedIn already offers premium memberships that allow for greater data mining. The amassing and commercialization of data is certainly a major trend! Many companies are having success selling data that they originally collected for other purposes.

Note to self: must revisit Facebook privacy settings.

I just read a little mini-article in Wired about the difference between actually communicating with friends vs. building a personal brand. This was a big topic for our group. We discussed the difference between LinkedIn, which folks seem to know is for personal promotion, vs. Facebook, which some people just think is "me, talking to my friends."

Okay, so I started this post with a healthy dose of skepticism, but it turns out, I am at least somewhat interested in talking about social networking and fundraising. But don't try to talk to me about the "down economy."