I’m always interested in the person who argues against popular thinking. It is fun to hear the other side and makes me think. Today, I read a post at Scott Berkun’s website on social media hype. While I don’t agree with everything he says, a lot of it is right on the money. First, he talks about how all media is social – otherwise, it wouldn’t involve people. So the term “social media” is lame. I completely agree. Email has always been social for me – I am not one to blast out email and never get responses – and I have formed entire relationships with people all through email. In addition, I am not forming many relationships on Twitter because it is difficult to carry on a conversation in 140 character snippets that could get lost in the shuffle at the other end so you need to include some of the subject matter.
What I really loved was his pointing out that the new media doesn’t “kill” the old. While there are some people out there saying Twitter will replace everything, I just don’t see it. In fact I think in the not-so-distant-future, Twitter will be incorporated into something else and be a part of something more concrete. Now, if you want to take a conversation off line, you go to another media. I think in the future you will have an option to move to a longer dialogue format. Also, while LinkedIn and Facebook are great, what I have found is they have led to more phone calls and getting together. It doesn’t matter if it is a member of a LinkedIn group that is local or a Facebook connection that will be in town for a meeting, I have met more people in the last two years that were new people and I met them in person because I met them on line first. That is a whole different side of social media than I’ve read about lately.
Finally, his other big point is to consider the source of the information. I recently was solicited to buy the newest, greatest Twitter tool and it was pushed by the creator of the tool but disguised in a training seminar. The entire talk was about how you can’t live without this tool and you really had to dig to find out the guy had written it. He has since updated his materials to be more clear but at the time, it felt shady. So always know who is providing the information.
I do enjoy social media and think it has a significant place in any marketing strategy but which programs that means or where you have profiles depends on your goals. Thanks to Scott for putting that out there!