18 reasons a social media snake oil salesman might want out

Last week I wrote a post that got a tremendous amount of love from the folks over at social media today and rightly so, it was all the reasons why I love social media.

But what if you were sick of it? What if you were a snake oil salesman trying to cash in on the social media phenomenon and you were starting to realize that this social media stuff sucked? What might be your reasons for getting out and jumping into real estate short sales or something?

Your excuses, er reasons might look something like this:

1) You didn’t realize how much work it took

2) You realized that people aren’t into your “get 200 Twitter followers” for $19 a month program

3) Your social media certification classes didn’t really take off like you thought

4) Stealing other peoples content was hard work

5) Spamming hashtags wasn’t driving any business

6) No one is calling you or responding to your sign up landing page with exclusive offers and social media tips

7) People were not sharing your viral videos that you stole created

8. Strategy? What strategy?

9) The trusting client is pissed because the Twitter account you created for them with the 30 tweets, 30 followers, and the 5000 people you’re following, hasn’t really amounted to anything

10) There was too much to learn

11) You’re tired of RT’ing others on your 6 month old Twitter account

12) You never figured out what that Facebook vanity URL thing was

13) Case studies? On what?

14) Social media is dead anyways

15) You hate creating content and no one was coming to the blog

16) Social Media ROI isn’t important

17) It doesn’t work

18) When someone asked you about Gowalla and Foursquare you looked at them like this…

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15 reasons to love social media

My last few posts have been about the darker side of social media and thus I wanted to clear something up.  I am the biggest champion of social media that you will find and here’s why. I may get a little spicy sometimes, but that doesn’t diminish all the “good” things about this crazy space and all that it delivers to us daily. So get a gander at these 15 reasons and when you’re done reading them add your reason to the mix.

1)  Today I have a very large network of close and semi-close contacts that I can reach out to at a moments notice. Chances are, you do too! 4 years ago, I did not have anything remotely close to this type of network.

2) If I need a really good PR firm for example, I can contact that person today and we’d know each other well enough to have a very nice conversation… without the usual vetting process. The confluence of PR and social media ain’t no coincidence.

3) If I wanted to have someone guest post on my blog and bring their incredible smartness and knowledge to the table, all I have to do is ask. Have you ever thought of asking someone? You should. There might be some really smart folks in your network and you might not even know they are following you!

4) If I have to refer a killer web design person to someone, I can do that in 5 seconds. I’m sure you know of someone too. I could come up with a list of 10 in no time.

5) Need a good email marketing company? I know one or two. In fact, I got to know someone from a pretty cool company just in the last 2 months,  Thanks network.

6) How about a good social media monitoring company? I can help you, I know a few good people there. What’s great about this one particular company? They don’t push the product, they just act like normal people should act.

7) Want to know who you need to contact in regards to social media and non-profits? Here’s one for you. Thanks to social media, these people have a chance to influence us in a way that allows us and them to make a difference in this world. We need more of that.

8. Because of social media, my network, no matter how jaded or pissed I can get sometimes, allows me to  get jaded and pissed… and they’re ok with that. They still like me in the morning. 🙂

9) Social media has allowed me to contribute to one book and create a rough draft for another. It’s allowed me to present at conferences, write articles in magazines and speak on the radio and create projects that connect some very dynamic people together.

10) Without social media none of us would be allowed to share the cool things we are doing 24/7/365. That doesn’t mean we always care about all of it, but you have a channel to express yourself now that you didn’t have before.

11) If I need help, all I have to do is ask. Need proof? Check out the 50 people that have hosted Hashtagsocialmedia. I asked and they said yes.

12) If I’m asked to help or assist on something, and because I generally know who is doing the asking, I don’t hesitate, thanks to social media.

13) Because of social media, when I meet someone for the first time, like a Jason Falls for example, I generally am “not meeting” them for the first time. We already know each other.

14) Because of social media, we have something to talk and write about every day.

15) If I didn’t know you before and now I do, chances are it’s because of social media.

At the end of the day, it’s still all about the relationships, the connections, and the conversations. For that, I’m thankful.

Jerry doesn’t get it.

Social Media Today principal Jerry Bowles  last week wrote a post called Twitter is for birdbrains I read and said to myself, “he’s kidding right?” I guess he wasn’t. The problem with Jerry’s post was that he runs a site that has the tag line- The Web’s best thinkers on social media and web 2.0. This post would not comprise some of the “best” thinking associated with the site. If anything it comes off as the man who walks around with a shot gun and keeps yelling at the kids to get off of his property. Or the guy in the old Scooby -Doo cartoons, who says, “if it wern’t for you meddling kids…” Or the person who can’t stand that new group the Beatles, and doesn’t understand what all the hoopla is..


Go read the post if you haven’t and tell me what you think.

My friend Paul Chaney, whose opinion I respect very much sums it up this way.

This really gets my dander up. Not because you feel so negatively about Twitter (though I think you’re perspective is ill-informed), but because you’re principal of a company whose sites have, according to Robin, several Twitter accounts and runs a Twitterfeed in the sidebar! Jerry, at best that’s hypocrisy and ludicrous at worst. Most certainly incongruous.

It’s as narrow minded, off base, and completely wrong a post that I’ve seen on Social Media Today since I’ve been a contributor. If it was to get a rise and nothing more, then how about letting us in on the joke Jerry. If it wasn’t and you truly believe what you have written- then maybe you might want to backtrack and claim that you were doing it just to get attention to the site.

My  main complaint? You barely use or have used Twitter, so I’m not sure how you can definitively make the statements or claims that you have. They hold no weight. If it was someone with 500 followers and was following 500 and had 500 tweets, well then maybe I might seriously consider what you said, or at least respect your opinion- but I can’t even do that.  I’m trying to understand, really I am. That’s it, I’m out.

My Twinfluence

Came across this post about Twinfluence from Beth Kanter via Social Media Today. What is your Twinfluence? Mine make sense to a certain degree, but check it out.


Hey people, let’s step it up.

I was sitting in the stands of a basketball gym a few nights ago and talking to one of the major movers of one of the top social media companies in the country, and I had asked him what’s going on at work. I like to see where they’re at sometimes since they are right in the thick of it usually, and I’m always impressed in the directions they head. He told me that they were looking to do more and to do bigger and better things with companies rather than just to pitch or create wikis, and blogs and communities and what not.

Don’t get me wrong, they “do” do more, it’s just that the perception or thought right now with other large companies wanting to get into the social media game is “this is what works with others-so lets do that”. He said they were looking to expand their reach and their depth of  what that can do instead of offering component driven solutions on large scales. Great strategy.

This made complete sense to me. In fact I had been mulling over that corporate perception and social media perception of late with the posts I had been reading in my reader and on some social sites I frequent. 

My thinking was it had become somewhat static, one dimensional and monotone like in its themes. Or maybe stale? Tired? Repetitive?

Think about it, we are creatures of habit and we do what the pack is doing. We see what works and we do the same. Isn’t that the way certain companies are approaching pitching social media solutions to large companies. They see what has been successful elsewhere and then take the same approach and basically say we can do that to? Yawwwwwwwwn. Go ahead and do that. But how bout you stretch out and take a chance on doing something bold and different?

Which was the essence of  what my friend was saying and I applaud their thinking for this. We, and they are only limited by our collective thinking of what social media can do. Right now we’re implementing what we know what works instead of turning it inside out and attacking it from a completely different vantage point.

 I implore that tact with some of the incredible collection of thinkers that I subscribe to. I personally believe that we have only scratched the surface of what social media can do and I plead with you to step back and really think about the ways and means in which we can take this piece of clay that is social media and shape it into things that we have not even begun to fathom as being possible. Let’s eliminate… the echo.

Does social media force us to be interesting?

First off, I have to tell you about a very funny post about The 10 commandments of Facebook that you should read.

Next I was reading another great post on Social Media Today by John Bell about whether Twitter was breeding a lack of authenticity and it pushed me to think about how authentic people are now, or rather how social media has allowed us to be more visible and “out there” and god forbid but I’m going to use a very tired word…”authentic”.

But has the explosion of social networking tools, resources, and outlets, forced some people to try and be interesting? Or forced them to think they have to be more interesting? When they otherwise might not be? Or has it, or does it force us to inflate an average persona into something entirely not us? I think so. I think some people think they have to “be” in order to “be”.

Or… how often is someone forced to be the voice of a corporate brand and asked to be more interesting for the sake of their corporate or personal brand? When in fact…. They otherwise might not be? Or otherwise would choose not to be?

Hey I applaud you for jumping in, but don’t blog or talk, or brag, or bash, or be snarky for the sake of trying to be interesting. We like the real you. We appreciate real people.  It’s why the social net has evolved the way it has. It’s allowed us to learn and share with more people than ever.

 Which begs the next blog post.

Is social media raising the bar of expectation?

You can’t “do” blogs half fast!

I was reading Paul Chaney’s blog post on Social Media Today this morning in which he thinks that there is a serious reduction on the number of comments flowing into blogs and he’s right. the quality is going down as well as the quantity. Part of the reason is that we now have more ways to access the writers of blog posts. Namely through Twitter, Plurk, Pownce et al.  I basically told Paul “thats great that we can do that, but now our conversations are somewhat muted and shorter”.

Does that mean that blogging is dead or dying? That we need a lesson in blogger ethics? No.

But as I thought about this more and looked at some of my posts and my comments on other blogs. I make a concerted effort to engage others. I’m not sure what the requisite amount of replies or back and forths are required between writer and reader, but I personally think that there is an expected return on the comment expected. Maybe. A requisite expectation if you will. But what I’m starting to see is smuggness and a “I started it, contributed some, and thats sufficient, attitude” starting to permeate some really good blogs. I’m also seeing really nice blogs, with some decent content, and some history, tailing off with posts, and an otherwise obvious downtick in effort.

What this tells me is that, perhaps that blog strategy or the author, have gone in another direction. What this tells me is that you can’t finish what you started. It tells me you are not practicing what you preach. It tells me that if you are a PR or a marketing person, no way in hell am i going to work with you. You started the race and you can’t finish it. You built the frame but you can’t put up the walls, the roof and anything else. You’ve done a half fast job and it shows.

Or maybe just maybe, Twitter is now cutting into our desire to comment?

Or… You’ve written a good blog post but you can’t comment or respond to the people who have made the effort and done the same to your post. I know you can comment via email, or Twitter, and maybe you have, but if we’re to extend the conversations beyond a micro-blogging platform and bring them back to blogs, we need to see that you have a vested interest in your blog post and you’re not posting just for attention or link juice, or extending the conversation privately.

The bottom line is you started it, now finish it with transparency and efficacy. We’re still watching we’re still reading.

10 quick hits of September levity

My Social Media Morning

Here’s the drill and it varies, but I’m curious what you’re social media mornings are like. Let me preface that this particular morning I have a headache from 2 glasses of red wine coupled with my inability to go back to sleep at 4:30 this morning. Thus, you lay in bed and you “fake-sleep” until 6 which at that point you do fall asleep and wake up a half hour later and you’re ultimately tired beyond belief.

  1. Fire up the machine (this particular morning we’re trying  out Google Chrome) While this is occurring I try to read either DM news, electronic retailer or the latest book.
  2. While it’s booting up I’m usually also thinking about a blog post. This morning, I’m thinking of a post in which I can compare bars to social networks-not sure there is something there though. what do you think? We all love to go to our favorite bar but why? What keeps us coming back? The beers and the drinks are no different at another establishment right?
  3. Staring at a product that a potential client gave me yesterday wondering whether it has legs for a social media campaign let alone a marketing campaign. This happens a lot.
  4. I have to put together a marketing matrix for another client in which I Identify the decision makers and their buying habits and then try to tie it back into social media.  In this case, it’s a supply chain software company, wondering aloud if that’s possible?
  5. Knowing we have to do a site redesign for the corporate site, I pull up some photoshop files to stare at the latest iterations. Initial thoughts: It’s not Web 2.0 enough. I’ll talk to the designer later.
  6. Rereading an article by Aaron Kahlow in which he writes about the 5 deadly sins of social media and thinking “I’m reading this after I wrote about social media marketings 7 deadly sins” and after a quick search I realize that there is a lot of sinning going on in social media based on this 7 deadly sin post and half a dozen others. It’s at this point that I think I’m very predictable.
  7. While chewing on that, I pull up Social Media Today, which is an incredible resource and provides lots of talking points on what’s going on in social media and I gravitate to post titled  Social Media, what about the risks? by Amber Naslund. I’d suggest reading it, it brought back some not so fond memories of a rogue social networker who terrorized all of our networks and efforts and made the experience very enriching. NOT!
  8. Thinking that Chrome is ok. For now.
  9. I have to call a recruiter in Chicago about an SMO/SEO strategist position. Not sure what I’m going to tell him, but it’s nice to be wanted. Couple that with the fact I’m in Naples, Florida. Never hurts to listen. right?
  10. Logging into LinkedIn, I like checking it everyday. Periodically, I like to read  the answers section or ask questions. I usually have a request or two to respond to as well since I started a LinkedIn group called the “Digital Response Marketing Group”.  It has a great name and has a world of potential to be developed into something larger, but hey, I gotta eat and sleep. I’m willing to partner on this, so hit me up.
  11. Time to fire up Twitter. I’ve been digging Tweetdeck more than Twhirl of late, but sometimes Tweetdeck just freaks out. yesterday i wasn’t in a very Twitterlike mood.
  12. I have to do a proposal for a client with a business (product) they’re getting ready to launch. I tried to counsel the CEO on the merits of social media and it’s potential. She didn’t want to hear it. She wants a DRTV proposal and that’s it. Ouch.
  13. Starting to read some various tweets.
  14. Need to do some related SEO/SMO stuff for another product we are marketing. Not sexy but needs done. Some people do not realize that social media marketing is hard work.
  15. It’s only 9:36 in the morning and I’m thinking of about 3-4 different social media strategies for  a few of the products that we market. But the problem is, not every user or audience is a perfect fit for social media.
  16. Just decided to scan through Outlook mail. Also opening Hotmail as well. I dread both activities.
  17. Have to talk to a client about creating a blogsite for his skin care line and forthcoming book. I’ll call him later this morning.
  18. Just got an invite email from Signalpatterns.
  19. Going to now fire up Pandora, it helps me work, though I’m worried about them lately. Logging into Facebook too. Thinking I might as well open up Ning. During Gustav I joined a Ning group devoted to the 2008 hurricane season, it is very well done.
  20. Now firing up Google Reader, throughout the day I’ll read over a 150 blogs, or I should say scan, since some don’t update everyday. Though there are a few that are a must read, and I would suggest you create that short list as well. If you want my short list let me know.
  21. Sitting here wondering what the next big thing is going to be in social media. I have my ideas, and to that end my thoughts are that as the number of social sites continues to grow exponentially, our usage habits might become more diluted. We may have to pick a few and leave the rest behind. But if there is a better way to aggregate them, then maybe not. I’m just sayin…
  22. Ok, I’m done with Chrome. it’s dragging too much.

9 posts/sites that are required reading

I read so much that my eyes water sometimes. When I get home and walk in the door and set my laptop bag down, it’s nice to say-I’m home, time to take a break. Except, after about an hour or two and I’m finally settled in, what do I do? I fire up the laptop and read some more. I’m an information junkie and I suspect a lot of you are too. So since we have a 3 day weekend coming up. Here are some blog posts and websites for you to ponder over and check out.

Shel Israel has some interesting thoughts on the future fo social meda, don’t worry Shel is all about brevity but it’s still good.

Here’s a really interesting post from Veronica Giggey at Social Media Group, why? because she’s a project manager there and she’s looking for an internal collaboration tool. This struck me as odd, yet honest. Hit her up and see if you can help her!

I guess the big Yahoo Mash experiment is over. Actually I didn’t know it was just an “experiment”. Maybe that’s what you call something that doesn’t work.

This absolutely boggles my mind about Facebook and I’m still catching hell about this post I made on Social Media Today

Check out these numbers on how associations are using social technologies, over at Chris Carfi’s site, they’re actually higher than I would have thought!

Why do you exist?

How uber cool is this? meglobe

Valeria Maltoni asks what’s beyond the conversation, because she never thought it was just about the conversation itself. It’s a great piece.

And lastly, the socialization of your personal brand part III