One of the challenges that bloggers face, compared to ‘real’ journalists, is that we’re not conditioned to churn out stories, no matter what. And so with a deadline looming for this post, I wondered what to write about, but nothing really grabbed my attention.
But then I got to thinking – maybe I should write something really practical, a list of things to do in social media. But of course, that’s been done a million times already. But what about the list that isn’t practical? That details all the lazy assumptions and accepted facts that people regurgitate wherever three people who know what foursquare is are gathered? If that’s the list for you, read on.
- Thanks to social media, user-generated content is taking over the world. No, it’s not. Because most user-generated content is rubbish and people still want to read/watch/listen to stuff that’s good and can’t survive on a cultural diet made up entirely of cats falling off of pianos.
- You have to have a conversation with your customers. No, you don’t. Do you talk to your mates about the toilet paper you use? No. So why on earth would you want to talk to the maker of your toilet cleaner about it? Conversations are great, but you can’t have them with just anyone, but you can enable them.
- Social networks are for kids. No, they’re not. Bebo was, but we all know what’s happened to that. In the US now, older demographics are the fastest growing audience on Facebook, whilst new technology is only likely to hasten this move.
- Advertising is dead, the future is viral. Rubbish. Ignoring the fact that you can’t make a viral (in that you can’t guarantee virality, but you can work to create and spread great content), the assumption that what most people terms as virals just magically gain audience on YouTube is patently not true. From Cadbury’s gorilla, to Compare The Market’s meerkat, most great ‘virals’ of recent times have been due to a mix of paid, owned & earned media. Ad agencies who create ads that they dump on YouTube aren’t doing you any favours.
- You can’t measure social media. Yes, you can, so long as you know what you’re trying to measure. If you get 50 fans on Facebook and then ask how much they’re worth, you haven’t thought about what you’re doing. If you run an integrated campaign of advertising and interaction, you can measure all sorts of stuff.
- Social media doesn’t work for B2B. Yes, it does, as Dell and many others are proving.
- I’m a social media guru. No, this is the only guru worth listening to. (Note, that isn’t an entirely serious link.)
I could have had an entire list of the meaningless phrases and buzz words that surround our nascent industry, many suggested by helpful types on Twitter. But hopefully this little list will help you out next time someone confronts you with a fact that just feels wrong.
Because, to paraphrase a popular saying, if something sounds like it stinks, it’s probably fish. Or something like that…
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