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…

Share this Post

Advertisements

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..

how-scooby-doo-works-11

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.