Some people think social media is over hyped and not worth the time and effort. Others say it is a fad and will go away and even more simply don’t think they have the time to even consider what it is and should they be using it.
Kevin Conway writes in a discussion group on the EMarketing Association Group within Linkedin a post titled, Social Media for Business Is Crap!. : Maybe because my feeling for the hyped-up benefits of social media was recently confirmed by a top millionaire online guru. If you follow the most successful gurus his name is always at the top of the list. As a matter of fact, he was the first online entrepreneur to make a MILLION $$ in a day. That said, recently he published a PDF where he said “I think social media Su-ks”.
When I read that I felt a sigh of relief, “maybe I am not off the tracks after all”. You see when you don’t “follow the pack” you tend to sometimes feel like you are going down the wrong path or at least missing an opportunity. Now, I must admit I use all the major social media outlets including Twitter, Facebook, Squidoo, etc, etc. However, not for direct marketing. And, even though I publish new product releases on Twitter, analytics tells me no convertible traffic comes from that source or Facebook. My primary use of social sites is for building backlinks, but that is for SEO purposes. And, of course the added exposure. i.e. “branding” doesn’t hurt.
Kevin’s post received over 2,000 responses on Linkedin and the majority of them agreed with his position. Remember this is an EMarketing Association Group on Linkedin with over 150,000 members and most are marketers. The discussion thread went on long enough that Kevin set up a new group on Linkedin titled after his post: Social Media for Business is Crap.
I had the opportunity of exchanging communications with Kevin and discovered that his purpose behind the original post was to get dialog going about what works, why it works and what doesn’t work. The irony is again that most of the response agreed that social media for business is crap!.
Are Marketers Chasing Crap?
Regardless of what you may think about social media the fact is that hundreds of millions of people globally are using it for different purposes. Marketers use it for their purposes and buyers use it for a different purpose. While buyers continue to use it to “market” users wonder why marketers don’t get the fact that their methods are being rejected. The reason for the rejection is that the message and the methods used is indeed a bunch of crap from the buyers perspective.
Buyers use social media to communicate, collaborate, find solutions, serve those looking for solutions and help the community of users learn.
Sellers (marketers) use social media as an extension of mass marketing methods aimed at catching a few and tricking them into a transaction. This intention is in direct conflict with the intentions of buyers. Buyers consider mass marketing as a trick of an old trade and even if the trick gets the buyers attention the subsequent experience is just another trick to capture buyer information or steal their time.
Social media is a bunch of crap when sellers don’t match their intent with the buyers intentions. Get it?