The Idea that Social Media Is BS, Is BS #socmed

Normally I’d ask you to forgive my crass language here. Instead I’m just going to warn you that I will be writing out the full word and let the chips fall.

Bu(ll)sh(it) Stencil in Almada Manuel Faisco 

Upfront, I haven’t read the book of that same title, and I’m not going to talk about it much here.

I risk a high bounce rate on this article to make this statement because I give a crap about this message being spread, even though, if people believed it, I’d probably make a lot more money since most of my business model revolves around people using search more.

To be clear, I’m talking about the concept that Social Media itself is bullshit, whether it’s meant to say

  •  As a marketing tool
  • As a way to generate fame
  • As a way to earn money (actually I agree but BS is the wrong term, since a few lone souls have actually achieved this)
  • As a way to generate leads
  • As a way to bring traffic to a website
  • As a business tool
  • As a branding tool

Besides “Social media is bullshit” being the most fart-tastic title for a book in modern days, I believe now, and will continue to believe, that everyone who thinks social media is failing either:

  1. Shouldn’t be using it for their business, at least in the WAY they are using it for their business, or
  2. Is the one that failed, not the medium itself.

The term itself is kind of outdated if you want the truth. But whether you call it new media, or lump it in with mass media, or keep calling it social media isn’t the issue.

What is media?

It’s just a way to reach a mass audience.

Not to sell to them.

Not to market to them.

Not to study them.

It’s just a way to reach people. Therefore, saying social media is bullshit is like saying the telephone is bullshit.

Can you market to people using the phone? Maybe.

Can you sell to people using a telephone? Perhaps.

Is that the best use of your company’s resources?

Perhaps not.

It’s the same way with social media or search.

Social media is a way to communicate a collective mass of people through the use of software that connects people.

And there are a myriad of problems with using it – especially exclusively – to reach your audience. But that means go back and do it correctly, not throw out the baby with the bathwater.

As I mentioned in my last article in this vein, I’m working on a graphic description of how I use social media, search, and other ways to reach people, online and off, to market for myself or my clients.

This isn’t something I’m selling, though I probably should be.

I just think if we all got on the same page it would be easier to talk about all of this stuff and where we feel the appropriate place for it is in our universe from a results-oriented perspective. Too often, it’s from the perspective of people who have tried and failed, and/or are selling their failure as a success story.

I mean, I don’t know the author of the book though I know OF him – from guess where?

Social media!

Which is funny because in the interview I read, he said to prove him wrong.

To which I submit:

I found out about his book via a tweet. Which I followed to an article, which was on a blog. (Which is also part of social media, lest we all forget.) Then several discussions on Facebook with people both immersed in the technology and who rarely touch it led me to believe that I should not waste my time reading it, though I may still buy it used from one of my colleagues or friends who hated it so.

I’m not going to link to the book because I am generally against the ideas of sensationalist book titles unless they deliver. It’s easy enough to Google if you’re interested. As always, I advocate looking at the facts and making up your own mind.

This is, however, coming from someone who

  • doesn’t currently profit from the existence of social media,
  • doesn’t advocate it as a main traffic method,
  • is frankly pretty sick of it
  • and would like to spend more time in the next big things that are coming.

(When I did profit from social media, it was in book sales that made up a small percentage of my income, because I don’t believe every multimedia guide is supposed to cost $200. But that’s another rant. And, full disclosure, I’ll probably write more $7 guides on social media IF they benefit my audience.)

So I’m not saying, do more social media, or less. I’m saying THINK before you jump on this bandwagon, and whether that journey will take you closer to your goals.