Thursday, March 18, 2010

Social Media Backlash? Or are we Just Getting Smarter?

Remember when you first started tweeting? And how much fun it was talking with other like-minded social media users about the “power of social media?” There was this sense that a new communication technique was here to change the world for the better and that we were all so smart to be a part of it. You know, those of us who “got it” with regards to using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blogs, etc?

Now we’re starting to hear a different story. It’s a story of a social media backlash where users are beginning to drop off the radar. (For more on this perceived backlash, check out this post from AgencyBabylon) So that begs the question, is this the beginning of social media’s end?

That’s hard to imagine, considering that in many ways, social media has already changed the world. From the elections in Iran to Ashton Kutcher battling CNN for followers to the first thing you do in the office every morning, the world is probably a different place thanks to the new world of communication ideology (that being a world where you talk with the people who matter to you, not at them). But let’s face it, the social media love fest is over. Everyone knows about social media, nearly everyone has a profile on at least one of the platforms, plenty of people have made mistakes, others have had success …so the novelty is over. We don’t need to spend our time evangelizing about the benefits of social media anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I still love using Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, YouTube and others …I’m just a little tired of talking about how much I love it (which I think is the backlash Mr. AgencyBabylon is referring to in his post).

So now comes social media 2.0; using the new interactive communication ideology affectively to achieve whatever it is you’re trying to achieve. Which means integrating that ideology into all your communication plans. In the past, it was enough to simply be on Twitter or to post something to YouTube ...just make sure you’re out there, because “it’s better than not being out there” was the driving force behind a lot of social and interactive media plans.

We’re past that now. Now is the time to start putting specific plans in place with clear objectives and desired results. Then executing those plans to increase sales, raise awareness, build networks or what ever else it is you’ve been trying to achieve since you started trying to achieve things (long before social media came around). That, in my opinion, is far more exciting than sitting around and tweeting about how much we all love social media.

So is there a social media backlash? I don't think so. We're all just getting a little wiser about how to make the most out of something we love so much.


  1. I think social media in is earliest form was just another fun tool to use to connect with. I think social media 2.0 will be the actual integration into our lives so they are not just a tool, but a way of of every day life. Like the telephone when it went mainstream. They were cool and hip back then, but now everyone has one. Same with TVs. Now social will go through that. There will be consolidation in the marketplace and the products will become part of every day life.

    Bob Stanke

  2. That's an interesting angle of thought on it ...thanks for for sharing, Bob!

    How do you think social media will become/is part of everyday life for the Life Time crowd? My guess is active, healthy people are at least one of the groups leading the social media charge how are those active, healthy people using the new interactive technologies out there?

  3. Briefly, our customers do not seem to be aware of social media with the possible exception of Facebook, and they do not seem inclined to muddle up their personal lives with anything related to their work.

    Some of our fellow dealers have jumped in, but the vast majority started, and then apparently just gave it up.

    Only a few of our vendors and suppliers are present, they also are quiet. Even our primary OE seems to use the medium only to make anniversary announcements.

    Our sales staff seems confused over it, perhaps because we tell them how beneficial it might be, while all the while the people they call on do not seem to care about it.

    Linkedin looks like a valid area to work on networking, and there has been activity in that area. It is probably our only bright spot.

    The backlash is they hype is starting to wear a little thin.

    I realize how powerful this could be, and only hope that our customers and prospects are given the time to take advantage of it. From my perspective, it looks like they still rely on the salesperson for their information about us, and barely make time for them. They have little or no time it seems to be reading blogs or working to develop a meaningful Twitter stream while at work.

    We do appreciate some of the connections we've made, certainly social.

  4. Good points, Kyle.

    I think it's important to remember that what works for someone might not necessarily work for another person or business. So it also goes with social media ...a lot of groups that try it will have little success (at least not right away).

    This might be due to the fact that there are a lot of folks who haven't had the social, interactive media promotional approach explained to them properly. Or, in some cases, it could be the product, good or service that needs to be promoted simply isn't of that high a quality. So that when social media is added (along with it, transparency) it shows that product, good or service for what it actually is. But ultimately, for those solid products from brands with true integrity, there is a social media plan that can work for them.

    It's all about the person's or business' willingness to offer something to the people they're trying to reach. It could be of monetary value, or it could be something as simple as a tip to shorten your commute ...whatever it is, as long as you're genuinely offering something up, your followers are more apt to give you something in return (their business). And it's all about the savvy folks seeing that work once (whether its a customer or sales rep) and then many of them will start to get hooked on social media. Which is why it's a good thing we're all getting a little wiser about how use it!