By michaelpace on November 9, 2011
Pre-prequel: With the recent release of the Star Wars saga on Blu-ray, I feel compelled to finally put together my official Social Star Wars Blog Saga. Enjoy all you fantastic nerds.
I was attending the social media track of conference, and went to the first social session of the day. The session started with the Socialnomics’ Social Media Revolution Video (the first one) and continued with non-actionable generalities. I went on pursuit of the speaker’s social network just to see how active or involved he was; no twitter handle! Are you serious? He then proceeded to use the word “twit” as in the action you do when you use twitter. Thank goodness Apple was announcing the new iPhone right at that moment. It didn’t get much better when the next session started with the United Breaks Guitars song and video. Let’s just say there are plenty of consultants or non-practitioners out there. These clowns (clones) are one of two reasons why the social business space is moving slower than the technology.
The Clone we all know
Let’s start with the first set of clones referenced above. Social is incredibly easy to get into, find information on and sound knowledgeable about to unfamiliar crowds. These individuals understand the tactical use of social media tools, but rarely have an understanding how to actually integrate into business processes or moving to organizational goals. . Their Twitter and Facebook streams look like constant ads for some product or service. Since they are not using the tools daily, they rarely actually enter the social media bubble (people’s who lives have changed from social interactions and participate hourly/daily). How to tell the Clone we all know:
- Infrequent twitter use or used only to promote their organization’s “something”
- Have less than ten social sites tied to them (beyond Twitter, Facebook & LinkedIn)
- Talks in vague generalities about cookie cutter social steps
- Never brings up business goals and objectives
The Clone that is US
Why do you think people talk about social media fatigue? Or why do people chase shiny social objects (me included)? I have a thought. I entered in this social media bubble in November 2009, somewhat late for most in this space. Because of my role, I drank from the firehouse of information. I can honestly say within 4 months, if I heard one more person tell me that the first step of social media is to “Listen”, I was going to puke. Some folks still claim that is the first step of using social media for business, but the example I am trying to show is people in the social media bubble keep talking about the same things to the same people in the same social bubble. Another more recent example, I followed the Inbound Marketing Summit hashtag (#IMS11) as I was not able to attend. I am glad I wasn’t able to, as all the tweets from session could have been copied from #IMS10 and probably #IMS09 and every other social media conference attended by the same social media folk. Just to prove my point, go through your twitter stream or your Google Reader, and look at the blogs that are written. Most are just copies and repurposing of things people in this bubble have heard a hundred times.
Shiny objects are great because it allows people to play or use something new. The technology is moving faster than the thoughts on how to use and integrate.
It’s not social media fatigue, its social media laziness.
I am not saying the people who work in social are lazy; they are some of the hardest working people I know. The thought leadership is lazy. Thought leadership in this space has been mostly relegated to marketing and technology focused individuals. I think it just needs an infusion of diverse thinking, process managers, operations, human resources, executive leadership, etc… I stated it before; I don’t think the next innovation of social business will come from marketing or technology, but from areas like Human Resources. We need to expand our social bubble to include these other areas. We need to branch out of social media conferences and attend industry specific or small business conferences. When I attend a customer service conference, there may be ½ dozen of active socially networked individuals, but hundreds of people interested in the area.
I do have a belief that in 2012, the cream will rise to the top and more individuals will be focused on operationalizing social business. We all have the opportunity to prepare for that time now.
May the force be with you, always.