For most, social media is new and fun. For others, though, social media is old and is falling out of favor. I’m seeing it happen of users who were happy about social media when it became hyped but are now realizing that they’re not yet ready to hold onto social media any longer. It’s boring, too challenging, and uninteresting. Catering to individuals seems to mean you need to bend to their will at every turn. Nobody wants to have to to a minority that seems to be unhappy with the content you’ve spent hours upon hours writing.
Social media experts are no longer social media experts. They’re moving onto “bigger and better.” Here’s why.
Social Media is a Trend
Wait, what? Social media is here to stay. However, to some, social media is a fleeting trend. That’s because social media marketing experts found success early on since social media relationship building was simply easier. Back then, companies who were engaged were genuinely involved because they wanted to build strong valuable relationships. They weren’t there to push a marketing agenda. Users were more trusting because they could be. Consequently, the early adopters persevered.
It is thanks to the early adopters, the sneezers, that we’re now seeing social media as something entirely different. It’s a cesspool for marketing as some see it. Hype translates to market saturation and puts us where we are today. The newest marketers in the social media space want to take but not to give. The audience becomes less trusting of these networks that they have been so careful to preserve.
Flurries of new experts are seeking the pot of gold behind the rainbow, despite there being none without super hard work. As a result, the original social media consultants are finding social media to be a short-lived trend that actually brought success easily. Now, with more of a challenge, they are slowly moving on. They’re no longer wanting to do the work for social media. It’s too hard now.
Relationship-Building Grows Tired
Despite social media being an extremely comprehensive field, possessing hundreds and even thousands of media, websites, and interactions, at the end of the day, social media is synonymous with human relationships to some degree. Any way you slice or dice it, the human relationships portion will always remain. Sometimes, people eventually get sick of constantly engaging and constantly trying their best to put on a happy face.
With social media, you really can’t have a bad day. You must be on your best behavior and wear your best pair of shoes all the time. Can people really do that?
Not all can. When they can’t, they don’t hang around.
Multitasking Creates Instability
This last decade was much different than any other. We’re living in such an intensive multitasking environment. Our brains are not only accustomed to frequent change, they now require it. Thanks to brand new technologies that consistently and constantly claim our attention spans, thereby requiring us to shift our focus on a very regular basis, we’re no longer willing or able to sit still. Monotony breeds impatience. Thanks to the real-time web and other sites that keep us incredibly busy all the time, unfortunately, there’s no turning back. Many in Gen Y who have become so sucked into doing a million things at once are never going to be settled on any one career, and change is inevitable. They’re used to the rapid fire nature of the Internet and these lessons learned online will be applied to real life.
Sadly, the social media profession is only one casualty of thousands. The kids are going to shop around for jobs, never staying put. And when it comes to social media, your experts of yesterday won’t be there tomorrow.
Social Media Alone Doesn’t Cut It
Social media marketing alone is not enough. There’s a lot more to marketing than just being social. Like it or not, you can’t ignore or disregard the other facets of marketing. For example, your website, without a doubt, needs SEO. SEO and social media are two entirely different things. Sure, someone with great content might capture others’ attention and get lots of links, but you have no idea how many other tweaks you might be able to apply to your website to bring highly targeted and relevant traffic. Links are just one currency of the web.
What about the creativity that is now required of you? Yup, you can’t just chat with people on Twitter and broadcast on Facebook. You can’t just IM your friends begging for votes via the backchannel. You can’t only write comments on forums. The creative element is absolutely necessary. Social media needs to be coupled with a creative strategy for maximum effectiveness, especially as everyone and their mothers join these sites and services to market themselves, their services, or their products.
It’s lofty to consider social media as your only marketing aim. Your best bet is to consider an integrated marketing plan that consists of social media and other marketing tactics, because the act of just being nice to people online won’t bring you conversions.
People Want More
If the chart above is any indication, it’s without question that social media has grown by leaps and bounds. Social media marketing, too, is now a reality for many. The virtual space is becoming a real viable way to market. With the rise of social media is the expectation that social media information should be in abundance — with all the takeaways. However, expecting freebies all the time is audacious.
Market saturation brings lots and lots of experts, many of whom think Twitter is a shiny new object and are ready to write books, charge $2000 for conferences where they promise TWITTER TIPS AND TRICKS THAT NOBODY HAS SEEN BEFORE (in caps!), or offer consulting immediately after getting 20k followers via using automated friend adder applications. After all, there are millions of other users — like grandma who doesn’t even own an iPad, let alone a computer — who can still harness its potential.
Social media marketing of four years ago, when nobody was around, was simply easier. That’s because, as touched upon earlier, the audience was more trusting; the people who were online were there because they wanted to be there. They weren’t there because they wanted to take something in the form of a sale. And to attract new audience members, the earlier strategists would share a lot more. In 2010, with eleventy billion new experts, the “experts” of the early days are no longer interested in giving away social media trade secrets, and you won’t find them shared openly online. Want them? You’ll need to work long and hard for them, but nobody is going to hand them to you on a silver platter any longer. The fruits of their labor stay well hidden away to avoid being abused by everyone who capitalizes on a new finding that someone else worked hard at discovering.
Expecting that those blogging on behalf of social media have a responsibility to give you freebies is, frankly, highly inconsiderate. There are enough freebies here and in other blogs and books. Bloggers already give a substantial amount of their time, so asking for more is just wrong. Bloggers in social media don’t owe anyone else anything, nor do any other bloggers who provide expertise, for that matter.
If you give your tricks away to everyone, they’ll quickly be beaten, abused, and exploited. In a few days, after newbie marketers jump like giddy schoolchildren to try out these grandiose tricks, they’ll become ineffective. That’s exactly why social media bloggers blog in generalities. Those of you rude enough to want to demand more: consider yourself lucky that you’re better than the content provided online. I’m still reading content every day — even the stuff I already know — to consistently grow. Why? Because we can never actually be experts. We can always be learning, and sometimes that requires us to read the same things phrased differently, to get content in the form of a refresher course, to remember that social media still has the human element at its core. The nuances related to how YOU can build your business further — with specific details related to a single campaign that has no relevancy to 95% of the others — are not going to be publicly shared, because that’s stuff that you need to figure out on your own. We all have to put food on our families‘ tables, so sometimes we might have to charge for deeper insights. Demanding more is selfish.
In the absence of detailed direction and secrets provided by social media bloggers, people give up. Sorry, you can’t always lean on your “friends” to help you navigate your territory. You actually need to do the work yourself now. Surgeons don’t just pull up a website in the middle of the operating room when they’re in a rut. Sometimes “social media experts” just can’t do that either. There comes a time when all the information you get online is content you already know. At that point, you might start feeling Fed Up. If you’re still seeking the answers from others, then I’m really sorry. We found the answers by working hard. Maybe you should too.
You Can’t Please Everyone
Just like I have my own critics via comments on my last blog post, in social media, those who are trying to cater messaging to everyone will find out that they can’t. If you try to be everything to everyone, you’re failing.
The perfectionists aiming for 100% success rates in social media will not be able to last long in this space. When dealing with emotions, psychology, anthropology, sociology, among other disciplines, you’re bound to make “mistakes” as you attempt to understand demographics and communities and learn about who will be receptive to what. Sometimes, despite understanding everything you think you could master, the work you’ve done simply doesn’t cut it, and you’ll have to try again. If your efforts are being met frequently with failures, you might be inclined to give up — even if you’re that “expert” and have all the direction you need.
Sadly, consistent failure means that some are simply no longer willing to continue. They’re unwilling to adapt to their environments and instead find something else to work on, perhaps something a little more predictable.
And so, Social Media has an End
It was bound to happen, though. There’s always a tipping point. David Armano put it nicely: “The true believers will remain, while others flock to the next hot field.” He’s absolutely right. We’re starting to see that happen.
Photos by Shutterstock.
Profound and thought-provoking. Abuse is bound to happen in any area that lends itself to marketing potential – should we drop it just because it’s being flooded by newbies that scream buy from me?
Of the other hand, our listeners are spoiled – they demand more and more in exchange for their attention.
Ana Hoffman/YourNetBiz Attraction Marketing Cafe
Hi Ana, thanks for your comment and you’re spot on.
“…our listeners are spoiled…”
That actually touches upon something I didn’t even speak about directly in the article. Just like “social media experts” want more freebies, so too, consumers expect more of the companies using this space. After all, the companies are intruding on their turf unannounced. Essentially, there’s a ticket for entry.
As many people say, the “public face” of the company on either Twitter of Facebook or wherever else is expected to do it all — support, etc. Nobody cares if you’re just running the marketing of the company. I’ve represented clients online and have suggested that they open a support ticket for the technical team to investigate, as an example, and they get disappointed that I can’t do the troubleshooting for them.
People want everything and they want it now. There’s no longer a willingness to wait.
“That’s exactly why social media bloggers blog in generalities.” – loved this. Tamar, this post is incredible, your insight and “artistic” ability shine here! I hung on every sentence, partly because of the way it’s crafted, and more so because of what you so clearly lay out from an obviously passionate and skilled vantage point. This is one of those posts that actually empower me to carry on and to do my job better. You’ve said a lot that I feel and see but could not…would not, have written down for all to see. For lack of a better explanation, knowing how you see this all playing itself out aligns with what I believe…so having it in my pocket keeps me slightly above insane and really wanting to push through to the other side. Thanks for this today. You have very fortunate clients.
Woohoo! I grappled with this post until I had some critical blog comments to bolster the argument, especially under the “people want more” heading, so I’m ecstatic that it worked out! Thanks James!
Social media without the “social” is a shell of what it could be. I love reading new content via RSS, Buzz, Twitter, FB, etc. (and am grateful for your articles, by the way), but too often it feels like there are thousands of us digesting this material without taking the next step of shared synthesis that social media allows.
I’m sure a lot of it has to do with time limitations (well, that and not being obligated to reply to every last quip about an article), but I also suppose that we’re racing to advance our technological capacities without giving ourselves time to think out loud about the meaning and value behind these changes. It’s kind of like upgrading our phones every five months without asking ourselves “Did the last phone already do the job I needed?” and “What am I trying to accomplish with this phone, anyway?”
Dana, thanks for commenting 🙂
I just want to say AMEN to this:
“too often it feels like there are thousands of us digesting this material without taking the next step of shared synthesis that social media allows.”
To that end, I really enjoyed James Chartrand’s post on Copyblogger about bloggers who are all thought and no action. We consume, but do we act? So many people don’t. That’s why this stuff is still valuable — because it warrants repeating.
If you want to succeed, you need to go beyond the limitations of time and really do what you need to stay above the rest. There are so many recipes for success here — you just need to apply them. And learn. And tweak. And improve. And with time, you’ll get better and better.
Here’s a blog post that you might like – it gets at the question of one’s obligation to stay engaged if one is to have online relationships:
Nice – thanks for that!
I think if you feel you’re getting bored, it’s a tell-tale sign that it might not be the right thing for you to be doing. I’ve done similar social media practices for myself and various clients dozens of times and I love doing it each time and am excited by the outcome. I don’t mean to toot my own horn or anything, but I think it requires a good deal of passion to get involved and continue to do things right.
I think the “true believers” (as David Armano put it) are the people who have that kind of passion and desire to see that this remains a major part of online marketing. Excellent post…really enjoyed it.
Thank you Vince 🙂
I think we’ll find that the “social media experts” who are so rife today really don’t see it as a passion; they see it as a moneymaking machine. If that’s the case, we won’t see them in a few years’ time, and that’s fine by me!
Tamar, Great article. Was relieved to see social media will still be relevant if there’s passion. I am new to it and tech and have MUCH to learn. But, caring more about connection than cash, I LOVE it. I am constantly learning and becoming aware of phenomenal people and places. I want to be a Social Media Good Samaritan.
Yup – it will always be relevant. But it will be relevant to the “service providers” as long as they are passionate about it. Otherwise, well, it just seems like a chore.
I wish you the best, Sharon! Thank you for leaving a comment. 🙂
Thought provoking. Great. Don’t you started getting bored on us. Thanks. And I’m glad I bought your book so you can keep producing such useful content! My 5 cents (well, so to speak) 🙂
Thank you Pierre 🙂 The encouragement keeps me going… otherwise I might get bored! 😉
Social media is fun as it is interactive but once abused, or if you spend too much time on it, it will really get a little too routine and boring. Unless you start unveiling new approaches and features that’s why all of the social media platforms are constantly evolving and keep on adding features. That’s why cellphone manufacturers, Microsoft, drug manufacturers do not release all their discoveries to keep people on coming back and wanting more. Social media is often addictive in some ways too. It’s not just boring at times, it could be hazardous to your other campaigns too. Well that is, if you spend too much time on it. It’s like a prescribed drug that needs to be taken with moderation or it will start creating implications.
Hi Jonha, thanks for your comments. I don’t disagree at all when referring to most people. Unless it’s a passion, it will be boring quickly.
This post speaks to some of the “get rich quick” crowd who came to do this because it’s new and shiny. They’ll move out because of boredom or other reasons that were mentioned in this post.
This post #$%#% rocks! I couldn’t agree more. I hate having to put on my “happy face” all the time and produce stuff / do favors for free… and listen to people get all freaky when you try and get paid.
Social media is getting boring! I want something more meaningful and profitable.
“I want something more meaningful and profitable.”
Me too. 🙁 😉
This is the *ONLY* post with an image of corporate guys in cufflinks shaking hands I have EVER commented on or ReTweeted. 🙂 Usually the image makes me get queasy and hit the back button, but here – with the pessimistic tone – it just works. And I’m laughing about it.
LOL, thanks Brett 😀
Tamar how do you do it? Yet again you hit the nail on the head. Thank you for writing this. It has helped clarify for me many of the things swimming around in my all-too-busy mind.
I am grateful for folks like you who can cut through the crap and make sense of it all.
Thanks Liz! I greatly appreciate the compliment 🙂
A great philosophy for life, and a great job by you, Tamar, connecting it to the internet & social media. “Don’t try to please everyone, it’s impossible.” Sometimes I forget “social media” is more than this thing I do every day, its actually the same thing I do when I network or shake hands with my friends or talk to people at the grocery store – its dealing with real people, and not all of them are going to like me.
So true, Ross. So many people forget this though. It’s so sad that I feel like I’m constantly reminding others about that.
Appreciate you leaving a comment!
this is such a fun post to read and very smart, thank you!
i have been reading you fo the past few weeks, and learned so much, it really inspired me in many way to cultivate good using social media.
Maybe “social media” fans will help grow it to “how can i help a biz grow using social media?”, for example, i just seen that a social fan is worth $3 to a brand, maybe this could provide some measurable value to social media, and the people that use it…
I don’t doubt that we’ll see dollar amounts on social media; people want to see how social media translates to their bottom line, which often is defined in dollar signs. 🙂
Thanks for the comment, Sharel!
For the past few months I have been reading your blog, and was inspired by it to think of a service for bloggers.
I will be honored to get your advice on a pacific question, is there a way to access you via mail? me mail is firstname.lastname@example.org .
Of course – I have a contact form listed on my site. 🙂
Thank you so much for the quick reply.
Great post–something I’ve been grappling with lately too. I don’t know if it’s bored so much as just kind of disheartened by the commercialization of social media. In the past week alone I’ve received several unsolicited proposals for “social media” something, each one with a staggering price tag. I’ve heard from a client about a company who had a “social media expert” on a $10k per month retainer to tweet and manage a Facebook page. I had an “emergency” call from a friend who has never so much as logged onto Facebook or Twitter or Linkedin but who managed to get an interview at NIH for a high-paying position that involved social media strategy–so she wanted a crash course in social media.
The only good to come of all this hype is that once people start realizing it’s not just easy money maybe they’ll take their passion for making an easy buck somewhere else, and/or companies will start demanding actual expertise from their top-dollar “experts.”
LOL, reminds me of yesterday’s Seth Godin rant which was brilliant.
It’s kind of sad that everyone feels like they can do training. Really now? IF YOU’RE DOING IT IN CAPS, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG. oh, wait 😉
Thanks for the post Tamar. I agree with just about every point you’ve made here. It’s a very well written description of the state of social media and the so-called “experts” who crowd it.
I work in this space, I have been a part of the family for years. It’s very disheartening for legitimate social media professionals, because “we” even consider these bad words now. The term itself is rather tired.
I would be curious to see a ratio of legitimate references to “social media” vs. spam/splogs/social snake oil salesmen. I think the numbers would frighten, but not totally surprise us.
The marketing mix has changed, social media consists of channels and tools that all marketers must consider for their clients.
As for social media becoming boring…I don’t think so. That’s like saying television is boring now. You just need to be certain you’re on the right channel, watching shows you know are legitimate.
Thanks again Tamar!
Dave, great points. I wonder if someone would ever want to dissect the 14k “social media experts” found by BL Ochman in her post to find out of their legitimacy. Oh, what they would find….
I’m glad you don’t think it’s boring. Neither do I. Others, though, are moving on, and heck, the fake guys who are – well, don’t let the door hit you on the way out! 😉
Tamar, one of the things that I think has happened is that because of the need to compete with other SM pros in the space, we’ve somehow lost the emphasis to be social with one another. People have to optimize every tweet, ensuring visibility and message are conveyed. This is one of the reasons I went on my rant (http://jamie.sandford.org/social-media-isnt-that-awesome) about people talking about SM at all hours of the day or night.
Remind me that you’re human every now and then and I’ll be interested and it won’t be boring. Don’t turn my Twitter stream into an RSS reader. I want to know who you are both in and outside of the office. Maybe if I get to know you, I’ll also want to do business with you.
Absolutely, Jamie. It’s actually why I was so surprised about the comments from Fed Up in my last blog post. She apparently was annoyed at my regurgitated content enough to rant anonymously, but well, it was strange to see her ignore the relationship part.
Why do I talk about relationships a billion times? Because, well, people still don’t get it.
Honestly, I found this to be a depressing post to read. The crux seems to be that you’re bored because social media has gotten too hard. Brands have to actually put in the work now to see results because the gold rush has ended. But that point was inevitable, no? The same way SEO has gotten “harder” over the past few years, so has social media. That’s what separates the real experts from the fake Twitter experts. I feel like we should be welcoming that shift and maturation – not writing off social media has something that’s too much work or that takes too much out of companies.
As you mention, social media is really just excellent customer relations. And while you can’t please everyone and people are always going to gripe, what’s the alternative – to not hear those people? I don’t think we can go back to that. As a company, I wouldn’t want to go back to that.
I guess I’m surprised to see you write this. And a little saddened by it. I get way too emotionally attached in people, which you know.
Hey Lisa, thanks for stopping by 🙂
It IS depressing to read. It was depressing to write (and personally, I’m surprised it was so well-received).
First and foremost, this post is NOT about me. I’m here and don’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon. I’ve been around for 17+ years on this “social media” stuff now and wouldn’t know what to do without it. 🙂 This post is about people I’ve interfaced with for years who have really proven themselves to me time and time again, but who, over time, have gotten sick of social media.
I have a friend who has truly gone above and beyond. He has impressed me, and I’ve recommended that people follow him. But … well, he’s done with social media, essentially. Here I am, recommending the “next big thing” based on his past contributions to the community and he’s simply not. It sucks.
He’s not alone. There are so many people who are here and then gone in a few months’ time. Personally, I’m glad that the number of professed social media experts is diminishing. I’m glad they realize it’s hard work and not a goldmine. Snake oil needs to go away and maybe this will help. I know there will be still more experts to come for awhile, but eventually we’ll see a lot less saturation in this space. And that’s perfectly okay.
I don’t disagree with you at all, Lisa. I worry mostly about these experts who I really had faith in who are gone, leaving room for charlatans (who, as we’ll see, will eventually move on), but I’m not going anywhere.
Is social media becoming boring? I don’t think so! Although, I have been in advertising for many years I am new to the social media space and still have so much to learn.
I have only recently discovered your blog and I am really enjoying reading your posts.
Woohoo, thanks Lynnette!
I’m with you on not being bored. This is fun and always enriching. 🙂
No matter what, it’s still all about relationship! It can be through social media or offline, or a combination. But one has to establish a relationship. Only then will things work out for both. And it must be a win-win. When the audience/client starts demanding free for everything, then it’s time to fire the clients! We did a six hour training on strategies for social media for $97 and several people said “too expensive.” Wow. And to think of the time and effort I take to learn and keep up!
But boring – I haven’t seen that yet. The enjoyment has just kept building as I build more relationships!
I have a friend who got bored of it. That’s his excuse, anyway.
Boring, challenging, you name it. People will find an excuse to move on because it’s not working out for them.
Thank you Janet – you’re so right 🙂
Thank you… I work for the non profit sector and they are all waiting for someone to provide them with a “proven” way to make money in social media.
The organizations who succeed will be the one’s who test, learn, think and rethink they’re actions. It’s easy to do well when nobody is around to compete… top performers shine when the field is full and the game is hard.
Amen! Gotta love a saturated market… wow, you have to work for it now! Thanks Laurie for commenting!
Thanks for the post Tamar, I really enjoyed it and I have to confess I really appreciate your writing style. I agree with you on everything.
At work I meet “experts” all the days long or almost. They all have magical solutions, the best tool or the best whatever… And at the end of the day… Nothing! You are right when you ask who can say he/she is an expert. For me an expert is someone who knows he/she still has a lot to learn, who knows the limits, who is passionnates and is able to help his/her customer to find the better way for his/her business or goals achievments. It is not easy but it is the it has to be, no? Being an expert is a long and hard job, wich requires a lot of humility and to raise questions all the time.
In an other hand I think many customers are abused by “experts” because social networks are stiil new in the enterprise and often described/sold as a magical application that will answer all the questions and solve all the problems. It is something that always amaze me when I am talking about social application. Not a lot of people see social network as an other channel of communication or a tool but as The Answer!
I think social networks are on the way to maturity and a big clean-up will be done and these applications will find their place in the Marketing and KM arsenal notably.
Hi Christine! Thanks for commenting. Have you seen this video? Your comment reminded me of that. 🙂
Microwave ovens became boring too, when they became ubiquitous and essential.
We don’t cook everything in the microwave, but we also don’t think of it as special anymore.
Ike, that’s a *brilliant* insight. Thank you so much for that. 🙂
You’re a little late to this realisation…
I don’t think I’m late at all, Dean, nor do I think I said much/any of what you said. Helps to read the article — the headline kind of is intended to drive you in.
btw, January 11, 2007? Surely you could have written more since then?
I think what’s bound to happen is that mainstream media will once again take over (using these tools) and we’ll be looking for another way to innovate. Social media is great, but it isn’t special.
I like what you said about having to be on your a game every day. So true.
Well, it’s a bit special — we’re dealing with relationships. Having such a unique and exciting responsibility, in my opinion, is quite special. There’s so much opportunity to meet great awesome people! We are privileged. 🙂 But yeah — I totally hear you, Nathan.
That’s kind of the problem though. SM has humanized businesses to the point where egos, feelings, and emotions get involved, which can either work out extremely well, or blow up in your face.
I still don’t know what to make of that part…sometimes it feels too relationship heavy to me, but I’m just a cold hard capitalist 🙂
Well, don’t lose sight of that 😉
It’s just time to see social media in its broader context, and move the discussion in that direction: http://bit.ly/aZBigc
Hey Steve – I don’t disagree at all. Personally, this article still intends to reference the social media of this broader context. But you’re right; I think it’s particularly challenging of the *marketing* of a company, since there will be a lot less trust because it seems that everyone is throwing unsolicited messages at each other. 🙂
I don’t know what to say other then SPOT ON! This is a piece everyone should read and spread around. Tomorrow someone will create a new term like “social blah blah blah” and bet your a$$ someone will immediately say they are an expert in that, with thousands more hopping on the band wagon to follow suit and also make this claim. I have read this article twice, and will probably read several more times!
WELL DONE TAMAR!
LOL, yeah, and then we’ll have to do a
TweepsearchFollowerWonk search and find out that their Twitter bios already feature the new term. HIRED!
I see social media being infiltrated by traditional marketing, which ties into what you said about people losing trust. This causes a few things.
1) Traditional marketers use social media with traditional marketing rules (in other words, blast the message) until they learn otherwise or the community lashes against them so bad they disappear.
2) Because of this there is a learning curve to turn marketing efforts into real conversations.
3) The neat little community of a few years ago has become yet another place everyone is stomping around.
Take any previous niche community – think organic food, e-mail or Italian clothing – and once it spreads wide enough to regular people you hear the people who enjoyed their tight little community start complaining about everyone else mucking it up. It’s watered down, it’s abused, and people ruin parts of it. Instead of embracing the new people and helping them learn what it’s all about, they shun them.
This post sounds an awful lot like “us vs them” instead of “welcome to the community – here’s what we built it on.” It should be about growing the community, not cutting new people off while they learn the ropes. This is THE time for making a difference by getting things right. Embrace the newcomers, for they are going to be the majority if they aren’t already.
Hi Jonathan, thanks for your thoughts. I’m on board with you… except when those newcomers don’t have good intentions. That’s when I worry that the social networks of the old days are no longer what we joined them for.
The reason that “us vs them” exists, at least in the context of SM, is that SM gave a lot of people chances to becomes overnight experts (not Tamar, but as a general rule).
When you take that away, then there’s no specialness left and people feel cast away.
That’s my take anyway.
Wow, thanks for such an amazing post! I’ve never been egotistical enough to call myself an “expert” at social media or seo or Joomla despite others raving that I am. It just seemed superfluous to me. I’ve been struggling with the “absorb but then pull the damn trigger, already” a bit myself as family and clients can sometimes actually want to fight over my time. I’ve pulled back in the time I spend on Twitter and Facebook but also try to suck the marrow out of what time I do spend on it – quality over quantity. If you’re right (and I think you are) then perhaps we’ll still be here once the slightly selfish minions float away to the next big thing… It’s like being at a really hot party that only really gets going once all the frat boys have moved on.
Yup! That’s my point exactly! Thanks Cheryl — great seeing you again! 🙂
I think Cheryl sums it up. It is quality over quantity of time spent in SM. When mass adoption happens, a space can’t help but get noisy and a bit of a mess. That distortion can and does fade after a time. Once everyone is done doing keg stands from the SM tap, things will filter out and the frat boys will take the party elsewhere.
We can’t filter newcomers, but we do have to allow them time to adapt and learn. They may have come looking for keg stands but find out they just want a PBR. And sometimes the frat boy turns into a huge influencer because they get it right.
I’m totally picturing that party in my head, Todd. Appreciate the comments!
First of all congratulations on your blog, I read all its articles, but have actually never commented on any of them. I’m currently reading your book, not finished yet, I’m liking it a lot.
Regarding the blog post, I can’t agree more, and I think, at then end of the day its a matter of self tagging. I don’t want to elaborate on this, for I don’t want to risk being tedious, but two quotes came to my mind whilst reading your post, the first one is by Schopenhauer and it goes something like “experts (self proclaimed) are individuals who know just a bit more than regular people but use some latin words from now and then” and the second one by William Churchill “If you have to tell somebody how important you are, then you’re not important” I mention them because I’m sick of all these people running around proclaiming themselves as experts when they just signed up for Facebook, still use hotmail and spam all the time with get 10,000 followers in a day and stuff like that. Not that I’m any better, but at least I have the decency of not reaping individuals and corporations off.
Anyway, I fully agree with your post. Cheers 🙂
Hi Francisco! I’m honored that you like the book.
I love the quotes. I actually have never heard of the first one but to how I can see some people — omg — instant light bulb! Thank you!
Hi Tamar, great article.
I imagine our relationship with social media is a bit like a relationship with your partner, exciting and new at the begining, but now its become the norm, and we’re a little ‘comfortable with it’ , and we aren’t maybe as appreciative of how well it connects us with our friends and family around the world and how it helps us keep in touch. What I think sites like facebook have done well is thrown in a bit of uncertainty/surprises in to the mix with redesigns and new features, plus new apps and trends that shake things up now and again (e.g. farmville, who would have thought we’d be farming on social media 5 years ago).
Where social media marketing noise ties in here is probably laziness on a lot of peoples part to tend to their relationship with their customers and add value to the relationship. This can be through lack of expertise as mentioned and missing the point. I always try to think of it as if I was actually in the room with these people, would they be interested in what I had to say, be open to conversation on the subject, and will what you have to say/offer create conversation/discussion between those in the room. If not you’re probably talking at them / selling , i.e. not tending to the relationship.
Hi Dara! Great analogy. Your points are definitely on par. Thanks for stopping by 🙂
I’m interested in why you see seo and social media as seperate things but agree that integrated marketing campaigns are the future. I see seo, search marketing and classic marketing tactics as intertwined. Good seo or social media ‘experts’ have a solid understanding of the social web, web information architecture and the marketing mix. They have years of experience of building sucessful on and offline marketing campaigns. They work really hard to understand clients, customers and the digital landscape. It saddens me that people take advantage of the ‘shiny’ and create a ‘bad neighbourhood’ for ethical companies/people who do give a damn about results and social change.
Thanks for the post Tamar always insightful and engaging just as social media should be 🙂
Yvette, I’m not sure I understand the question about why SEO is separate than social media. They are ENTIRELY different beasts. I consider myself versed in SEO, but I consider myself a lot more knowledgeable in social media. They are different. Social media bloggers often say they don’t understand the nuances of SEO. SEO bloggers often do not understand social media. Check out this advice for Internet marketers post I wrote a few weeks ago or this post on why SEO is easier than social media marketing.
This is my first time to your blog (got here via Outspoken Media) but I deeply appreciate the thoughts behind the posting. It is a hard world out there, and it’s not automatic to have success at content creation for SEO (which I do), Twitter marketing (which baffles me), Facebook Fanpage Stardom, Google ranking, or any of the other social media tools without putting in the long ass hours in the chair when you’d rather be outside. Instant experts who promise success drive me nuts, because I know it’s not real without the effort and hate to watch companies throw all that money away!
Great thoughts here, and glad to have found this page. Looking forward to checking out some of your other content!
Indeed. It takes a lot of work to pay off. You need to be willing and able. Thanks so much Jen!
you point are noticeable for internet marketer.
“Because we can never actually be experts. We can always be learning…” This is a key point and the main reason why I’m still here and contribute as often as I can. I want to learn as much as I can, and I also want to help others learn about these amazing tools and how to use them the right way. The social sphere will continue to be a powerful medium as long as it doesn’t become completely choked with marketing “messages”. I believe it will survive due to the contributions of some really smart, really authoritative folks and the self-policing aspect of communities to keep the black hats at bay.
I truly hope so, John. There is some signal through all that noise, and that’s something we should take advantage of. We’re lucky! 🙂 Thank you!
Haven’t been able to read as often as I use to but finally got a chance to get back to the site and once again @Tamar nails it again with her amazing observations.
I couldn’t agree more. Social Media is now just another piece of overall marketing tactics. For those who hopped on board early and found it to be an amazingly easy way to connect with people with very little due diligence and work needed compared to old tactics, are now finding themselves being challenged again. But this doesn’t mean that Social Media is not an effective way to market anymore, it just means you must be the best at what you do and work your ass off like any other job. The Creme’ always rises to the top.
Exactly, Ken, and great seeing you again 🙂 In this day and age, everyone has to work — you can’t just sit on the sidelines and hope that something happens.
Hi Tamar – Great insight. I find people to be the most interesting subject of all (love sociology and anthropology) so to me, social media can never lose its flavor. Despite how much I use it for expanding my reach with my business, it’s primary purpose for me will always be to connect – to my family, to my friends and to people who share a common interest with me. And I completely agree that businesses who try and use social media alone, or who put all of their dollars into it, neglecting other marketing methods are in for a risky, expensive ride.
That said… social media (to me) certainly loses some fun when marketers start abusing it; not keeping a respect for those who really do use it socially. I think rather than dying, it will simply keep evolving – social users will always drive innovations in social media and business users will always be struggling to keep up with them. Social users are going to be continually seeking a sacred space that they can use for social reasons, and will keep relocating when the marketers move in.
I’m watching Facebook to see what happens as a result of the massive expansion last year.
I totally agree with you, Tia!
I know Facebook opened its doors to let businesses in… but there are problems with how they did it. Still, though, you can choose your friends, and at the end of the day, you need to choose wisely!
I agree with much of what you say, but social media is still a fantastic business resource if you use it correctly. Something I have blogged about myself. Here are the links if you are interested:
Man Killed by Social Media
7 Steps to B2B Sales Leads
I never disagreed with that point, Jason.
I think you are making this more complicated then it needs to be. Just get on social media, be open, be honest. Not every thing you say needs to be full of sunshine. I should be authentic instead.
George, every single thing I reference in this article comes from experience. It’s complicated because some people don’t get it.
Hi Tamar – this is a really useful insight into the socmed phenomenon. It mildly annoys me that Google is placing so much priority on social media as a measure of authority – for some of my clients it is of no relevance or use. Its also a massive potential timewaster!
Thanks for sharing