I’m Tired of Social Media

I’m starting to get sick of social media.

More specifically, I’m growing weary of the “magic bullet” thinking around social media: “If we build it, they will come.” If we have social mediums like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and a blog, our business/brand/organization/cause will succeed and excel past our wildest imagination!

This gets me every time.

EHH. Wrong. Try again.

We’ve reached a saturation point with social media. Brian Solis calls it the transition from Social Media 1.0. Basically, we’re like dogs who have finally caught up to the car we’ve been chasing. We’re standing around asking the question, “Um. Now what?”

Chris Brogan put it like this:

And he’s right. Social media has never been about the “media” as much as it has been about the “social”. The atmospheric rise in popularity of social media boils down to this one point:

People like connecting to other people. Social media help us do that.

That’s it. That’s the bottom line. (That one’s for free, by the way.)

Here are four quick tips to make sure you’re keeping the “social” in your social media strategy.

1. Discern your purpose. Write it on paper. This is first for a reason. If you don’t what you’re all about, how do you expect to let people in on the story? Adding social media to an org who doesn’t know what they’re about is like giving a running chainsaw to a two-year-old: DANGEROUS.

2. Let your purpose dictate the tools you use. Once you’ve figured out what you’re about, let that purpose guide you to your arsenal. One inner-city ministry has a strong MySpace presence because that’s where the kids in their area go. Some folks we work with at Monk determine that having a blog wouldn’t be productive or helpful. Seth Godin doesn’t tweet. When you try and be all thing to all people, well, it doesn’t work. Like, ever.

3. Avatars are people, too. Remember that the folks lurking behind the avatars we see in Social Media Land are real people. They have thoughts, feelings, dreams, emotions, digestive problems, mortgages, lazy eyes and acne. Ignore what “experts” say about the online world not being “real.” It is. Increasingly so. What works in engaging people in person usually has an online equivalent. Figure that out for your context and, as they say, you’re set.

4. Focus on adding value. Last but not least, social media are about adding value. Social media is others-centered. No one wants to hear you talk endlessly about how great you or your organization is. Just like we’d ignore the person at a party who constantly talks about themselves, we ignore social media that is painfully self-referential. Give most of the time, don’t take.

I’d like to hear from you, though. What’s tiring you when it comes to social media? What are you sick of seeing? What would work to fix the problems you’re seeing?

9 comments
AbbieCr
AbbieCr

I am totally sick of anything related to "social" media. I am really sick of the "sharing" concept. It's like kindergarten. All social media is good for is conditioning people to accept socialism and being controlled and manipulated. I'm an adult, I don't need constant goading to share. I'll help anyone who needs a hand, and I'll help feed the hungry whenever I can, but I'll be damned if I'm gonna be a part this idiotic social media sharing nonsense. It has to be the biggest load of crap in all time! Real people, real conversations, and real contact is waht matters. Everything else is information, bits, bytes, and electrons.

yuliono
yuliono

me too.. i'm getting sick and tired everyday to find that almost all websites (evenmore some of those big-greedy companies' websites) that i know suddenly put links to facebook twitter yahoo linkedin and so on, proclaiming themselves as a social things, as if they really care about customers. in fact, they're not really that social, they just follow trends to get bigger profits, to get our little thumbs' fingerprints as many as possible on their websites... also sick with new websites that called themselves social things while in fact they just like any other ordinary sites. they just put those little icons to fb twitter google+ etc... and sadly i'll have to do the same for my websites, otherwise i'll left behind, #@$%. i'm happy (i believe we are) with new great techs & sites with genuine ideas that add values to our cyber life. but pls, calling it "social" is like calling something as "friendly, helpful, true, patriotic, etc". it makes facebook and twitter looks bad now. i'll become a teen with ANTISOCIAL attitude very soon. i'll play my rock musics so loud and yelling those fcuk fcuk lyrics aloud.. me, in the corner of the world

Rebecca
Rebecca

THANK YOU for this much needed balancing note. I am increasingly learning about using social media not just for connecting with friends but for advertising, for myself and others. And I've been finding myself a bit stressed out by social media. It's all too easy to forget that I love social media and turn it into a slavemaster. It's all too easy to forget that social media is about connections. It's all too easy to let it lose its magic and make it into a machine. Coming from a techie person like yourself, this post is all the more meaningful. We can't forget what it's all about!

Dustin W. Stout
Dustin W. Stout

Man, based on your intro, I was ready to go at it with you! But then, you said exactly what I would have. Thanks!

vince
vince

The use of new media to communicate has been dominated by tech people and early adopters until now. Now we are going to see more socially skilled people begin to make use of the platforms and we can stop talking about social media and start actually using it.

Kyle Reed
Kyle Reed

Tired of hearing about stats and peoples blogs. Honestly, the idea that your blog is your meal ticket is stupid. And I am starting to really get frustrated with people who only blog and think that is going to lead them somewhere, like if my stats are good enough I am a big deal. The blogs that I love reading are from guys and gals who are doing it, who are working, and who are sharing what they are learning. Not the blog that says..."here are 3 steps to growing your blog audience" or "how to publish a book in 2 easy steps" Social media has always been for me more social then media. It is the chance to connect with people that I never would have met if not for the tool. But if we strip everything back and all people have to say about me is that he has a big blog following then I have completely failed. My blog is a very small piece of what I do, an extension. Ultimately, like Gary Vee says, the people who treat social media as a place of connecting or like a cocktail party are the ones that will "win." they are the ones that wil have the chance to connect and use it for what its worth. Time to get back to the social side of things.

Gwen Cash
Gwen Cash

Kyle, Your response was very well said. It is a reminder for me to continue to utilize the "social" in social media when I am communicating with my contacts.

Moe
Moe

Home run. Kyle said what I would have said in 500 words. I agree with him completely.

Jason Vana
Jason Vana

I agree with Kyle - I'm tired of the blogs that focus on how to grow your blog stats, readership and influence, as if blogging (or social media in general) is nothing more than a way to market yourself. I especially roll my eyes when their blog is nothing like what they prop up as the answer to having a blog that will land you some huge deal where you can sit on your butt all day and do nothing and still make millions (I have run across those blogs before). I'm also pretty tired of what I call the "Blasters" in social media - those people who think Social Media's purpose is just about dumping information that people are eagerly waiting by to snatch up. It's meant to be social. Turn off the auto tweeting, the Twitter to Facebook connectors, and every other automated poster that takes the human aspect out of the equation. When we use social media as just a dumping grounds to build some kind of platform to make us famous, we miss the point. It's always been about connecting with people. Real people.