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3 Reasons the Recession is Great News for Social Media

Authors: Jay Baer Jay Baer
Posted Under: Social Media
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This recession is looking worse than Sylvester Stallone all roided up for that recent Rambo 14 (Rambo goes to the buffet for the Early Bird Special with some pals) movie.

It’s going to be bad. But for social media, it just might be the best possible circumstance. Here’s why:

1. Smart Buying

Consumer confidence is at an all-time low. We’re not exactly rushing to the nearest mall to make discretionary purchases. But because money is tight, we’ll want to make sure we make the best possible purchase when we do make them. 

Enter social media. 

Traffic is of course up for sites like Yelp, Amazon, Trip Advisor, and other review sites because of the impending holiday season. However, I believe sites that enable consumers to benefit from the experiences of prior customers to continue skyrocketing long after the holidays are over. 

If we’re going to part with decreasing dollars, we’re going to make sure it’s a good product first. 

2. Shared Angst

This recession is the first piece of long-lasting major bad news that has occurred in the social media era. Certainly the Iraq war qualifies as bad news, but it’s day-to-day impact on Americans has been mostly negligible, except of course for those served and their families. (Thank you for enabling me to live in a country where I can make a living writing blog posts and telling people how to do social media and send good email)

The ins and outs and ups and downs of this recession and its impact, duration, and cause are going to be a major topic of conversation in this country for two to five years. 

Enter social media. 

You can Tweet using the #recession hashtag, or send a friend a bowl of soup via a Facebook app. Seriously, we’re going to use social media to discuss and micro-analyze our deteriorating economic condition because it’s faster, more customizable, and in many cases more honest than real media.

I can talk to real people at a local restaurant about the recession, but then I’m only getting the local perspective. On Twitter, I can get the perspective of most of the country. That’s why social media will be the recession’s barber shop.

3. You’re Grounded

First the gas crunch. Then, the “if you want oxygen on your flight, it’s $20” routine. Now, the recession. 

Companies are going to cut back on travel considerably. 

Enter social media.

The conferences and symposiums of the roaring 00s are going to be replaced by Webinars, Webcasts, UStreams, SlideShare and other forms of digital information exchange that will dominate the bummer 10s. 

If I owned a conference company, I’d be working like crazy right now to figure out a virtual delivery component, because given the quality of freely available content online, it’s getting tougher and tougher to justify an in-person experience. 

What do you think? Do you agree that the recession could actually help social media?

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