Look, I know I poke fun at the whole social media thing. Often. I know I bitch and moan about the consultants that have somehow pulled the wool over many people’s eyes as they continue to spout philosophical crap while not having any actual experience to back it up.
But I digress.
Lately I’ve been very disheartened by my Twitter and Facebook streams. Because the very people who tell the rest of us to use social media as a place for “authentic, transparent conversations” have turned their presence on these channels into link farms that constantly and incessantly push out messages about themselves, their business or links to yet another article about the practice they so love.
In other words, the social media space is quickly being overrun with impersonal “look over here” “please pay attention to me” messages by the very people who think that it’s the chosen medium. And I only follow 400 people (and yes, I do use lists). I fully believe that Malcolm Gladwell nailed it in his recent article in The New Yorker. Yes, we are creating ties with others through social media, but they are weak ties. They are ties that we may not have had before, but they are no replacement for good ol’ face-to-face word of mouth.
Turn on your Twitter stream and you can connect with some great thinkers – but most of them are only thinking about the medium that they continue to preach about (and that earns them a paycheck). So my challenge to you is when you’re thinking of that next social media campaign, think about how it can live offline. Think about humans, not technology. Think about being a facilitator, not a marketer. Think about how people are not tools (insert your own joke here), so don’t treat them like they are. And when they do decide to engage with you, appreciate it by showing your appreciation.
Actions speak louder than tweets, people. Remember that and you’ll be on the right path.