Internet marketing and social media have become inextricably linked, you cannot engage in one without engaging in the other, if you hope to achieve optimum results. Yet, in the zeal to chase the buck, by way of relationship building platforms like Twitterand Facebook, to name only two, many have corrupted the process and actually invite failure in doing so…the Internet marketing version of social media suicide.
I heard an interesting phrase the other day while doing research for a new venture and it’s been with me ever since. The term? “Social Media Mugging!” I don’t remember where I heard it, probably should have written it down. The funny thing about it is I get so much of this stuff in the course of any one day, who would have known that such an apparently mundane phrase would stick and grow into, and take on a life all its own in the course of just a few days. The phrase brings up some interesting images, doesn’t it? The most interesting thing about it is that it is right on the money in a large number of instances and for a surprising number of different social media platforms. Sadly, in an attempt to convert friends, followers, connections, and the like into dollars, many relationship building applications and platforms have been overrun by a phenomenon called “Social Media Mugging,” something I also refer to as “linking up,” particularly as it relates to Twitter. In the last 24 hours, I have even envisioned producing, directing, and starring in a YouTube video complete with mask, toy gun, and a gruff voice Geld verdienen met Instagram threatening people to “Click my link…or else!”
A bit much? Perhaps, but just barely!
It is interesting how the landscapes of the various social media platforms have been reshaped, even corrupted in the view of many, in an attempt to convert followers to dollars. In fact, with the emergence of the various marketing groups on Facebook, it seems all but overrun by marketers, of late. The Facebook I joined, the one I connected with my high school friends on, has all but disappeared and many of my high school friends along with it. The height of irony? I was just contracted by a client to do a study on the feasibility of converting friends to clients for local business on Facebook. I have my own ideas about the outcome but the study intrigues me because it is symptomatic of the pathology now affecting much of social media…greed.
Greed and the 1980s Revisited
Greed! The word harkens back to the 1980s and Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen in the move Wall Street. Michael Douglas, to a board of directors and stockholders, claiming for one and all that “Greed is good! Greed is right!” Perhaps in a sense greed is good, but as the movie clearly illustrates, it is also corrupting, and ultimately counterproductive, even downright bad. Yet greed drives much of business and its corrupting influence is manifest throughout social media and what is now referred to as social media marketing.
Almost an oxymoron, isn’t it? Social Media Marketing!
To resist the hall monitor urge in all of us, I have tried to look at this from both sides of the equation. You remember the hall monitors from middle school, junior high school for those of you old enough to remember junior high schools, and high schools? The “I’m gonna report you” type of so-and-so everyone hated. You know what I mean, the hall monitor as the classic example of “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely?” We’ve all witnessed a bit of the syndrome here and there on the various relationship building sites like Twitter, Facebook, and some of the others. The typical response is to first verbally and publicly reprimand, a figurative b#t*hslap of sorts of you will, then they unfollow, and finally they block you, just so you know they disapprove in the most strenuous way possible your sinful ways. It is more of the social media version of “I’m gonna tell” combined with a temper tantrum because you haven’t conformed to their way of thinking, their idealized vision of a social media utopia in which everyone freely associates and no one seeks any sort of gain other than the fellowship of mankind, or womankind.
Social Media Nirvana, in other words!
Fortunately, there are a variety of different expressions for relationship building sites, all mixed into one big ball, like a microcosm of the world we live in; and yes, complete with hall monitor types, greed, self-serving and selfless behavior, and much, much more. The fact is, social media is about as close to “all things to all people” as anything can get. The nice part about it? As Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, friendfeed or any of the rest change, evolve, are overrun by marketers or simply take a new shape, filling a new niche in the vast and ever changing world of social media, other platforms evolve and fill the void. Ironically, we speak of Twitter or Facebook as if they represent social media in total, when in fact they are only a part, albeit a large part, of a very diverse whole that includes video, social bookmarking, podcasts, applications for the applications, and a variety of other expressions and platforms.
Twave and Bing!
With the emergence of Google’s new Wave and Microsoft’s Bing, who is to say where this will all end, clearly this is just beginning, particularly in light of the suggested Twave, a Twitter + Wave synthesis. Ultimately, social media is as much about business as it is about being social. Right or wrong, that is the reality, a reality here to stay. That being the case, the fact remains “linking up” and “Social Media Mugging” are counterproductive, they do not work! I would suggest that as an income producing strategy, social media is not all many envisioned it to be, it does not convert well, at least initially. Social media is about building a brand, relationships, connections, friends, followers, all the label we use to define the exchange of thoughts, ideas, and information between participants and not about conversions.