Social Media Platitudes
As you’ll know, it was Social Media Week last week. What? You missed it? Me too. I was gutted. But the good news is there’s another one running from September 23-27.
As a taster for that unmissable event, take a look at Huffington Post’s Jason O. Gilbert’s list of the Most Meaningless Platitudes tweeted during last week. They are, as you can imagine, real pearls of wisdom. My favourite is:
“It’s no longer about brands. It’s called social MEdia. It’s all about the consumers and their conversations!”
You see what they did there? Clever stuff. It’s like that “There’s no ‘I’ in ‘Idiot’” thing.
Yes, it’s all about customers’ conversations. Because that’s all people do, day and night: sit there talking about your company or product. Your job is no longer to advertise to them and tell them what makes your company or product so great. That’s just simple-minded arrogance. You need to be there with them, chatting things through, listening and feeding back and bending over backwards to be part of their lives and conversations.
What do you mean you’ve got better things to do?
The thing is, I’d find all this stuff funny if it wasn’t so prevalent. Every day I see someone linking to articles such as “How an old dinosaur like you should engage with your customers now that they’re all thirteen-year-old interactive games players who desperately want a relationship with your brand”. And every single one of them is full of fuzzy drivel dressed up to sound like wisdom. Like I say, it’d be funny if there wasn’t so much of it – and if it wasn’t so stupid and dishonest.
What I hate most about it though is that it’s lapped up by marketing managers and business people who really should know better. I don’t know why this is. A fear of being left behind? A worry that they’re not hanging out with the cool kids? Whatever it is, I wish it’d stop. And I wish marketing and advertising would get back to being something that grown ups do.