Thursday, August 15, 2013

I Love You Social Media! I Hate You Social Media!

I was kinda thinking that social media hasn't advanced that far since it became the staple in a communicator's toolbox all those years ago ... 2005. That's my personal date when I think it began, and others will concur or differ on that timeline, I'm sure.

I abhor those "20 ways your brand should be getting a million followers by 2:00 p.m. tomorrow" automated tweets. So lazy, no respect to the recipient, it may have worked for you but might not for me etc. I hate you social media!

Connecting with strangers at random, finding out you have something in common and inviting them to chat more over -- gasp! -- a face-to-face coffee IN REAL LIFE next time they're in town. I love you social media!

I just got off the phone with an organization in the education space needing a little guidance with their social media. Very professional company, good ethics and transparency, just working out their next steps in connecting a little more via online channels.

It struck me that there's still an element of nervousness about being "out there" in the space. Understood. Slow and steady is the way, get comfortable, know what you want to achieve, remember that social media is all about human beings and not the tool you decide to use ... and success (depending on your wish list) will follow.

In general, I am 87.6% on the positive side when it comes to social media as a tool to do good things. There's obviously the trolls, spambots, fake followers bought from some shady company, paid-for blog posts that don't state that disclaimer, LinkedIn contacts that see fit to spam with their not-relevant messages and so on.

It's all part and parcel of the game though. You have to keep focused and let that stuff wash off you before it clogs your thinking.

So, when will social media grow up? I think it's past its teen years and is now starting the early '20s of deciding what direction in life it wants to go. Still a bit unsure and willing to bend a little with circumstances, but finally striking out on a path of discovery.

The love/hate relationship is what keeps it interesting.

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