Never be a fan of the Platform

6882523113_fa035a00a4_b

Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, are all platforms.

Social media is the mechanical part of reaching people, everything else is fluff.

Being a fan of a platform makes you irrational, the word fan being derived from “fanatical”.

You need to use the platform and not the other way round.

They are tools, and should be used only to fit into your strategy of Empire Building

Love shooting the breeze on Facebook?
Describe yourself as a “social media evangelist”? This is not for you, please leave now and never return.

Social media is a means to an end and not a destination.

We have been given social media to allow us to ruthlessly use it for our own gain. Never forget that a social media platform has been created to ruthlessly scrape cash into the alligator leather wallets of the venture capitalists. They don’t do it to be your friend.

Pic source

Social Media is not about the Conversation

I Tweeted this week that social media is not about the conversation?

It had a few retweets and I thought I would post them here.

lakey

‘The C-Word’ RT @lyndoman: If anyone says “it’s about the conversation” at a social media conference, throw a sticky bun at them.

Friday, November 16, 2012 9:59:17 AM

SceptreSocial

RT @lyndoman: If anyone says “it’s about the conversation” at a social media conference, throw a sticky bun at them.

Friday, November 16, 2012 10:03:01 AM

AutomotivePR

RT @SceptreSocial: RT @lyndoman: If anyone says “it’s about the conversation” at a social media conference, throw a sticky bun at them.

Friday, November 16, 2012 10:03:23 AM

au_tom_otive

RT @SceptreSocial: RT @lyndoman: If anyone says “it’s about the conversation” at a social media conference, throw a sticky bun at them.

Friday, November 16, 2012 10:03:24 AM

alastairWMW

RT @AutomotivePR: RT @SceptreSocial: RT @lyndoman: If anyone says “it’s about the conversation” at a social media conference, throw a sticky bun at them.

Friday, November 16, 2012 10:30:22 AM

But am I not having a conversation right now and isn’t that a good thing?

Yes it is, but that is not what social media is about.

The “conversation” is a stepping stone, a communication tool that we use to get to our real objective.

I hear you say, “but the social media gurus say it’s all about the conversation.” Some do, but you will find that their real objective, the stuff that gets them out of bed an put on their Star Trek boxer shorts is selling their books, conference talks, advertising on their sites.

The conversation is simply the tool they power up to fund their collection of Sci Fi boxer shorts.

What social media is really about is persuasion, it’s about communicating a message that gets you to do stuff. The social media gurus are experts at getting you to do stuff and using the tool of conversation to promote that.

Nothing wrong with that, we all use various communication tools to persuade people to do what we want. You could say that a pair of very tight jeans is a communication tool design to persuade people to look at the wearer in a particular way.

Yes this is pushing the envelope a little. But communication is all around us, most of it designed to persuade. Even if it is to get you to press a button on a microwave when your Chunky Chile Chicken is done, just with a ping.

The ping on a microwave as a tool of persuasive communication?

Is that taking it too far?

Most Common Mistake of Businesses using Facebook Pages

It’s much more useful if a companies Facebook page is about the benefits of customers using the service, than about what is happening at the company, for example, “We have just had the walls painted a very interesting magnolia colour here at Donotgetit Design ltd…..”

It may be very important for you to give out this information, but it’s incredibly boring for any reader or follower. This is the biggest mistake I see when a business is updating their Facebook page.

It’s as if the boss has decided that the Facebook Page should be used as some kind of corporate newsletter, detailing the minutiae of everything the company does.

People don’t care about you or your business, they only care about what you can do for them.

Pinterest, C'mon Guys Get a Grip

Look, before you start running around the place with your knickers on your head screaming about how Pinterest is going to solve all online marketing problems known to mankind, I suggest you take a deep breath and consider a few things.

Maybe it’s the young, cool and froody crowd over at Mashmumble who are whipping up the frenzy over what is a generic system like Pinterest.

Pinterest is fantastic if your niche is visually stimulating, such as cat calenders, kitchen taps, motorbike paintwork, bathroom tiles etc. And I have a few friends who are really working Pinterest to their own advantage who happen to be in these niches. I myself have, ahem, a few accounts that focus on certain niches.

As far as I can see, it has the same flavour as Stumbleupon, Flickr etc. of course it’s not exactly the same. But if you found that these types of systems did not work for you in the past, I doubt it’s worth a look in.

There is no social media system which everyone should be a member of. I am a member of all I can be, but then this is my job. I can’t advise clients if I don’t join and try to game these systems to my own advantage.

6 months ago, G+ was the next big thing, as far as I can tell it’s definitely not. It shows some interesting aspects, but it’s not captured enough critical mass for it to be a Facebook killer.

If there are two social media systems to use it’s Twitter and Facebook. But they are no longer new and exciting and so maybe not worth the Maserati raving about them. Twitter and Facebook are established enough to easily work out if they are for you. With Pinterest, unless you are a social media professional or a middle aged women making cupcakes, I would look at all the social media systems that are on offer and chose the one that benefits you the most.

+1 Button

I have not yet put the +1 Google goodness button on my site. But, I think it’s definitely worth it. Although there have been rumblings that a + 1 is going to influence SERPS, I wouldn’t get too excited as I haven’t seen anywhere that says it happens when you are logged out.

My advice, let the first movers expend time and resources on figuring out if G + is worth it, then simply modify accordingly. If you are a business you really do not have to worry about G+ or G+1 or whatever it’s called.

Some commentators are hooked on change, rather than efficiency or adapting to the environment. This is the nature of the new social media landscape. Every few months a new network/website comes out and has people running around as if robotic cockroaches are in their pants nibbling at their bits screaming, “we must change now or we get left behind”.

I think I understand where this thinking comes from when looking at places like Myspace and others and noting how they were not developed. Facebook and Twitter (old web 2.0 media) continue to innovate and develop, therefore it’s a different landscape.

I don’t use FB much, but have found Twitter extremely useful following #hackgate #notw, as all journalists and most politicians Tweet. As far as I can tell they will continue to do so. Their thinking seems to be along the lines of, “Twitter does what we need it to do, why change?”

I look at the feed in G+ and it’s mostly a river of garbage. LOLcats, music videos, the odd politico rant against socialism. You may like such stuff, but my focus is elsewhere on more serious stuff.

Sure I can spend time organising my feed into different circles and stuff, and make sure I only get stuff from people I want. The thing is, in real life when you organise something you don’t expect to have to reorganise a few months later and this is exactly what will happen.

But, some people love to organise and move avatars of friends into and out of boxes and good luck to them. These types of people probably find comfort from the harsh world in doing such inefficient tasks.

And anyway, you can just hire these people for very little money to go build a +1 empire. For what little good it’s going to do.

You can’t automate the social process, it has to be organic.

It’s not a better system you need. It’s better implementation.

Feeling like crap from a bad cold, which may make this post more rambly than usual.

What will +1 result in for small business