In a stunning turn of events, the components of the Web 2.0 phenomenon are seen by users as mere tools, and those users have very little loyalty to particular tools:
Study results show that social networkers have little loyalty for any specific social networking site. Almost half of all social networkers use more than one site and one in six uses three or more.
Interactive marketing agencies better keep this in mind that spending client budget on building/hooking up all sorts of “community” (read: users build the content for the client for free) will have wasted that budget when another company comes up with a slightly cooler set of technologies to do the same thing. You must differentiate the brand using existing Web 1.0 techniques and build that community with good promotions and content instead of hoping “users” will do your job for you.
James Joyner (past client of my company Jeracor, just so’s you know) sums it up thusly:
Not only is this unsurprising but the premise behind the question reflects a deep misunderstanding of the Web 2.0 concept. Social media aren’t about loyalty to sites but rather a means of self-expression and growing and communicating with one’s network.
That will remain true with fickle consumers, so if you’re building a consumer-facing Web site, don’t forget the fresh content when adding expensive technologies to the bill of sale.