A new invitation-only social media site called BestofAllWorlds is intended to attract high networth individuals away from Facebook Inc. and LinkedIn. The founder of BestofAllWorlds sent out 5,000 invitations in May to an exclusive group of wealthy individuals. The site now has almost 25,000 registered members according to an article in the Toronto Star.
The site, which was to be launched on August 27, is positioned to “empower global social discovery within an intimate and trusted community”. It claims that the site will help users “discover people, common passions, and compelling information for tomorrow… in worlds of shared interests and friends”.
The future: a fragmented social media environment.
BestofAllWorlds is an indication of things to come - an evolution to a more fragmented environment with an increase in micro-targeting strategies that appeal to smaller subsets of consumer segments who want explusivity. BestofAllWorlds will offer an experience that will allow users to meet other like-minded people, explore city guides and attend high-end events such as Art Basel in Miami and the Royal Ascot horse race.
Will BestofAllWorlds succeed? The concept is promising and has precedents. For example, specialty channels have successfully emerged to target specific interests and target groups. Second, it will appeal to the desire for exclusivity that is highly attractive to high networth individuals. Third, social media sites like Facebook are mass brands that may have less appeal to specific segments, as the medium matures. Fourth, an erosion of trust in online media is an emerging Black Swan that could change the way consumers interact online. A more fragmented and exclusive environment is likely to appeal to specific segments of high value consumers and will redefine the “big tent” portals such as Pinterest, Facebook and Linkedin that cater to everyone and aren’t specifically positioned for smaller, more targeted segments.
Implications for marketers
Facebook has had challenges with its advertising revenue model. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, General Motors Co. has said that Facebook ads haven’t paid off. According to the article, GM has indicated it plans to stop advertising with Facebook Inc. after deciding that paid ads on the site have little impact on consumers' car purchases.
The marketing model of BestofAllWorlds is based on a sound premise that more targeted communication is likely to be more relevant and engaging. BestofAllWorlds will appeal a lot more to high end brands such as watches, cars, wine and hotels than Facebook. The site also addresses concerns about privacy with “firewalls” that can be set at four modes — family, social, party or professional. In addition, users can join “worlds” or discussion forums with topics such as food and wine, health, or philanthropy.
Marketers today face significant challenges to determine the ROI on their social media marketing investments, especially in an environment with such a fast paced evolution of technologies. As one VP of Marketing put it, analyzing Social Media is like “drinking from a fire hose”. These challenges are likely to grow exponentially as social media gets more fragmented and follows the path that specialty TV channels have taken over the past decade.
Do you agree that social media is likely to fragment into smaller platforms to appeal to smaller consumer segments? Will Facebook still be relevant in 2020?