A year ago, I challenged social media marketers to do better. And guess what?
Social media marketing is getting worse. Much, much worse.
We have more networks. More tools. More apps. There’s more noise, more ads, and less meaning. I can’t name a memorable social media campaign from 2011.
But the blame isn’t only marketers fault:
- The social networks are failing us – Constant refreshes aren’t making our lives easier. Mindless games prevent real conversations. Sponsored stories are diluting the organic conversations we’re fostering. As soon as people figure out what role they want these networks to play, the network is changes.
- Our mentors suck – Social media advice on blogs has gone from bland to useless. We share overly generic case studies, anecdotes, and near meaningless advice in an attempt to build our miserable personal brands and one man social media agencies. Where we used to get a nugget of advice, now we get a half-baked idea.
- We’re failing our customers – Instead of monitoring, asking questions, and anticipating our customers’ needs and desires from social media, we post mindlessly as usual, click share, and call it quits.
- We’re failing ourselves – We all have grand plans for social media. Planning and creating a great idea to start conversations is easy. But carrying out those conversations, every day, twenty-four hours a day, is grueling. It takes a dedicated team of psychopaths to make awesome social media happen.
When you break it down that way, it’s depressing.
But there’s a bright side.
We get the chance to make it better every day. We’re in charge of making more meaningful conversations. We control how we use each network, what messages we send, and what standards we hold ourselves to.
No matter how awful the messages and networks get, we’re still in control.
So stop making excuses. Stop pushing a ton of crap into Buffer that no one will read. Quit telling people to be passionate and get them to do their damn job. And stop being concerned with what people wear when all we see is their damn avatar.
There’s real work to be done on social media. Get off your ass and do it.