By Robert Craven, MD at Directors Centre
According to Mashable, 2012 is the year we exhaust social media. Hooray!
I don't think that it is dead ("deceased, no more" as in Monty Python) but as Mashable say, we are exhausted. Social/digital exhaustion will become the catch phrase.
People finally realise that connecting or following or being followed (as a numbers game) is meaningless unless there is some purpose and some result.
I think the light bulb moment is when you employ people and they appear to be playing on social media (while you are paying them to do so).
Now, I don't deny the benefits of being open, pursuing random connections and so on. I love it. BUT we must not confuse activity (= wheel spin?) with business.
I am not the social media guru but we have noticed that many of our clients have become fixated with activity and almost irrelevant metrics when they need to get back to basics.
So, reflecting about the state of play...
On the one hand, we have the social media zealots grabbing at the next new best thing universal antidote (and yes I do feel myself falling for Google Plus!). On the other hand, we have the incredibly lazy marketing habits of the old school agencies simply spending more in a naive attempt to interrupt and buy people's attention.
What I do know is that there is:
- Just too much noise and it is turning off a lot of people
- Just too much "me-too" follower behaviour (buyers and sellers)
- Not enough common sense engagement and connection
- A brilliant system (fast, quick, vast, cheap) to reach out and find and explore and share with others.
- Tons of opportunity if you can just navigate your way through it all
- Not enough time to do it all so a need for clear guidelines, prioritisation and time management!
To be honest, I am starting to feel that the problem is actually about THE MESSAGE. Your message. (The channel may be a red herring):
- What exactly are you saying that is interesting?
- Is it compelling?
- Worthy of attention?
- Clear and helping others to understand what you do?
- And how can you help?
All the talk is about how you communicate and what works. (Maybe that's simpler than dealing with the basic "why should people bother to buy from you?" question!)
But if the message is broken (and let's be honest, most are) then you are simply wasting your time.
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