When Social Networks take over your website. What not to do.

24 Apr

Today we’re talking about “The Restoration of Stephen Baldwin” website. See it here http://restorestephenbaldwin.org/

I love marketing and I’m all over the new social media craze (don’t tell anyone that I’ve been doing it for over 10 years – since before ‘social media’ had a name.)

Here’s what can happen when social media goes overboard – Stephen Baldwin’s online panhandling donations site asks you to sign up and follow him on 32 social networking websites! Are you crazy???!!!  Obviously, someone in the Stephen Baldwin camp figured out that you can auto-ping.fm all of these sites at once (if you click through, you’ll find they all repeat exactly the same things, at the same time, in the same order. Most of the profiles only have a username and not much else – no descriptions, no photos, no friends or links etc. Useless.)

Here are some quick numbers in a bullet list to make this post official:

  • 6 sites for making ‘friends’ a-la myspace.com and facebook.com. They are clearly missing blackplanet.com and asianavenue.com here.
  • 6 sites for video / photo / media upload
  • 5 blogs. Really…. 5 blogs?

I would suggest that Stephen Baldwin’s team really needs to figure out a strategy here.  What’s the point of being on all these sites?  What benefit is he really getting here?  What’s the benefit for his followers?  I would highly suggest picking and choosing relevant social network sites that actually have something to do with your brand or business.  From an outside perspective it looks like someone was force-fed Mashable for a week and puked up every social network site that was mentioned. Are you seriously telling people to join on Friendster?

What does this mean for your company?? Yes, social media and social networks are good and have a certain value depending on your goals.  BUT you need to have a point. Nobody cares that you signed up for 32 networking sites.  You could have much greater effect by signing up for the right 1 or 2 sites and actually using them, contributing and participating.

Some things to think about so your brand doesn’t come across as desperate and begging for a quarter online like Stephen Baldwin:

  • What social networks sites are out there?
  • Which ones are relevant to your brand or business?
  • Which ones are your cutomers on?
  • Which ones can you reasonably expect to update with some sort of consistency? (Using multi-posting tools like Ping.fm to hit 100 networks with the exact same message doesn’t count.)
  • What is your point? What are you trying to get out of it? Where do your customers benefit?

Some things to think about. I hope this helped you out a little bit. For a good laugh, you should really click on Stephen Baldwin’s website. Yes, his fans really call this quest biblical and his struggles are compared to those of Job.  You can’t make this stuff up.


One Response to “When Social Networks take over your website. What not to do.”

  1. laurent February 4, 2011 at 9:15 pm #

    Update: The website in question has since been updated and everything I wrote about in this post is gone. The team at Restore Stephen Baldwin have replaced the site with a much more simple, text-based website.

    I guess this will teach me to grab screenshots and upload them when critiquing sites.


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