Wednesday, September 2, 2009
PLEASE NOTE: This post in no way reflects the opinions of Axiom Marketing Communications. These are my own thoughts after reading countless blog entries suggesting people just spend too much time on social networks...
Everyone seems to be ranting about social media offenses lately, so here’s mine… Enjoy.
Boy, I have to say that I want to take a whip to some of these linked-happy people that are part of social networks to build community. Social media gurus and experts will tell you it’s all about relationships, but what type of relationships are those exactly? I'd say deceptive ones.
I feel as though we’ve really abused the issue of trust in some ways, and have actually redefined the notion of it by simply kissing up to blog writers via comment, retweeting Twitter posts—and for what? Their approval? Since when is approval even remotely close to trust? Being connected is all about approval, not about trust. Somehow social media has blurred those lines and people are listening to it. Really, that’s what it has boiled down to, has it? To get the social media celebs of the world to notice you and approve of you so you can get more subscribers to your blog, more followers to your Twitter account, and suddenly you’ve made it and now have a purpose in this very noisy environment. If your goal is to get a high profile social media celeb to reply to your Twitter feed, goodness-- seek help. I’m finding more and more that people are trying to define their very existence and purpose by the number of friends they have on Facebook who will reply to or ‘like’ their status updates, or reach a life-changing number of followers on Twitter. For some, 100,000 is simply not enough. One conversation I had with a social media participant suggested applications like Qwitter somehow make them feel “ugly” and therefore non-following potential. What’s next? Failed marriages due to more time spent on building a Web community than on family? Yes, spouses are getting angered by their partners’ non-existence outside of the computer screen.
Seriously, this mindset of importance is happening ALL around us. Admittedly, I have been an @-kisser, trying to be more ‘strategic’ than natural on Twitter mostly, and I’ve found the same thing time and time again: it’s all about being natural. The minute you’re forcing something to go through to reach your targeted audience, you will fail, because it reeks of being contrived. Maybe… just maybe… the 3-5 hours on Twitter reading people’s tweets and replying to them will make up for it, but I don’t want to wait around to find out.
The fact of the matter is, though, social media is only natural when there’s not an agenda behind it. By agenda, I mean trying to become the leading voice of social media, trying to retire early because your workday is entirely founded upon getting more fans and followers to believe what you are saying. Trying to push more books through by commenting on how pretty someone’s hair looks in a Twitpic. It sounds mundane, BUT it is happening. News media is doing it, too! Again, I ask, how does that equate to any level of trust?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come in contact with people who boast his/her strategy to build community. If you feel you can trust the @-kissers of the social media kind, great. As for me, I'll just do what comes natural and hope to be-friend the all-natural types.
Written by Tim Otis at 1:59 PM