Note: I don’t really like the term “Social media” however I will use it a lot in this post.
There is one major problem with all these so called “social media specialists” that bothers me to no end and is definitely not talked about prominently. The talk to action ratio is seriously out of whack. these experts write post after post, article after article, rulebook after rulebook without actually going out and doing anything other than self promotion. They are all a bunch of pessimistic, cynical, critical big mouths.
Now obviously there are major exceptions to this and I have spoken to lots of people who work within the social media corner of the digital industry that are lovely, thoughtful people. However the broad majority fall into this all talk category. The problem is that people write out these “rules for social media” and “steps for social media strategy” and “professional guide” style posts based on their personal interactions and opinions. However these people more often than not have done sweet F-A with an actual company or brand besides their own. More over these people scathe and criticise anyone who tries to actually utilise social media. Personally, I wouldn’t be actively trying to quash any positive activity in an industry I was trying to make money from. Yes, they are your competitors, but a successful campaign for them means a more open and trusting client for you.
Exhibit A :
Tim Burrows recently posted up this article on Amnesia’s recent campaign for Aussie Home Loans. The article simply stated that the campaign had gone live and the ways in which it was utilising social media in Australia.
Please note the comments it received. Within hours of going up the scathing criticism began. Whether the execution is the great or not is not the point, the point is at least Amnesia and Aussie have actually DONE something. They have committed and have actually created and implemented a campaign that is a social only execution.
For an industry that is predicted to see record growth in 2009, the “experts” certainly seem to be scared and nervous about actually tying anything. This is the problem. People need to suck up that fear and remember that as long as you are honest, open and reasonable when stepping into social media, the only people you will really cop criticism from are these “experts” and at the end of the day its the consumer who we need to please.
So why don’t we all take a breath, calm down and try a bit of positivity. Social Media, as an industry is young, these are early days and EVERYONE is still learning despite their “expert” title. Whether its ideal or not, doing campaigns is the only way we are going to learn and going outside of what we know is safe and the norm is the only way to do something interesting. Consumers are much less vicious than bitter jaded industry folk, so lets start focussing on them instead of our peers.
Once again, I really want to apologise for the words “social media” being beaten into the ground here.