I don't know whether I'm just a grumpy 40-something or maybe I'm just having one of those "emperor's new clothes" moments but I'm starting to wonder about the direction of social media.Posted by: David Regler @
You see, like many others, I'm spending some of my time on twitter, LinkedIn groups, etc. I'm following people with similar interests, commenting on discussions, etc.
It's true, my involvement isn't full time since, like you, I'm also running my business and delivering projects for clients and trying to generate more revenue.
And, in my quest to find the next useful piece of information or discussion to tweet about and comment on all I'm seeing is more of the same.
LinkedIn discussions are often either the same questions asked in a different way or just a long running debate that's been added to over a 12 month period.
The latest "research" or report just seems to re-hash old statistics or spin someone else's report to create content.
After all, content is king and you need to feed the beast.
Plus, if you follow all the social media experts they'll keep telling you that this is the best way to convert business, drive sales, etc, etc... but very few give you concrete examples outside of a few huge brands or shoe-string niche consumer start-ups.
It's a bit like the myth that you lose 90% of your heat out your head. Totally debunked by scientists since the 80's but still everyone believes it. Maybe it's because it's got a statistic in it?
There are countless other examples where some study has been regurgitated over years to be held up as a truth that everyone just accepts. And I think there's a lot of that happening in social media.
Sometimes I get the feeling that on many LinkedIn groups (and to an extent on Twitter) there's this self-serving clique of people who simply retweet each other and start discussions just because they have to (it's in their social media plan).
I know... that's social media etiquette, of course. Which is maybe why I'm just being a grumpy middle aged man.
But, I think it's valid to question why you're doing something and also where it's going.
I read in a report (ironic, I know) that one hot area for new business ideas is in "filtering" social media content.
Wasn't that was social media was all about. Content gets filtered and recommended to you by people you trust?
But if everyone's playing the game of "must tweet 4 times a day" or "must produce an article every week" what's going to happen?
As I've posted about before, marketing does one thing really well - abuse a new channel until it gets saturated. Junk mail, cold calls, email, it's all been done before.
Even Twitter now has promoted tweets and accounts.
Well, it was fun while it lasted.