When Social Media goes wrong …

ID-100183510The term Social Media is widely used, but has anyone wondered why Social Media is there in the first place?

The term Social Media consists of two words, Social and Media so lets look at the dictionary meaning for these two words:

SOCIAL : seeking or enjoying the companionship of others; friendly; sociable; gregarious.

MEDIA : the means of communication, as radio and television, newspapers, and magazines, that reach or influence people widely:

Therefore by definition Social Media is the combination of being friendly and sociable around information that is needed, interesting or newsworthy and may have the ability to influence people widely. Is this happening?

Yes in some instances you could say yes, but unfortunately in most instances the combination of the two is not experienced. I use the word experience because if the information shared is valuable and it resonates well with a person, the potential for a good experience (memorable occasion) is present.

When the Social is removed from the process it just becomes Media, in other words when we assume that it’s not necessary to interact with people, we use the digital channels to tell people about us and give them information that we think they need as opposed to what they want to hear, the potential of social media is lost and it becomes media – that mass communication which is actually propaganda (the particular doctrines or principles propagated by an organisation or movement). Ouch, and if I am standing on your foot I suggest you move your foot or even better rework your strategy.

Yes that is what has happened to Social Media across the world and it has gone wrong in a social context, and just reverted back to a simple mass media approach. This approach lacks the social and is ignored by the ever changing connected generation. Not only are you and your organisation ineffective on social media, but you are actually wasting time and resources.

Forget what you think you know about B2B or B2C and start by simply understanding one relationship at a time. Build a solid understanding of this and all the B2C and B2B will fall into place. In case you are thinking what is the shortcut? Their is no shortcut to good relationships because real people read your intention and if your intention is to take a shortcut, you will not be appreciated by those you are trying to build a relationship with. These are the basics and as my good friend Lewis Pugh always says “Get the basics right and everything else falls into place.” That is the real efficient way to do things without wasting time on shortcuts.

Don’t blame Social Media, people are behind everything! Help people to communicate better and you will have phenomenal results.

#TIP Don’t call your department a Social Media department, call them Social Engagement and you would have strategically set the intention from the beginning – if you still looking for that shortcut? People are actually easier to manage when they know they in the engagement department as opposed to the media department.

Image courtesy of ddpavumba at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About RichSimmondsZA

Retired but still Disruptive
This entry was posted in Social Communication and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to When Social Media goes wrong …

  1. Kyle Bailey says:

    I was literally thinking just this yesterday, about how ironic it is that “Social Media” has caused us to be so anti-social. I use social marketing all the time, but fear its effects. Good post, thanks for sharing.


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