Critical views of social media are far too rare

Mark Shaefer

Mark Shaefer

I don’t know Mark Shaefer, and before today I’d never visited his blog. But I enjoyed the dose of reality he dished out yesterday in this post. Mark says a few things I’ve never had the cajones to say — maybe because I try too hard to fit into the blog party.

Regardless of whether you’re a social-media Kool-Aid guzzler or just someone thinking about how SM fits your PR scheme, you should read “Five Social Media Myths that Must Stop Now.”

A couple of excerpts to whet your appetite:

Myth number one: “To be effective in social media, you must give up control of the conversation.”

Why do you assume you ever HAD control of the consumer conversation? You didn’t, you don’t, and you won’t! So, in reality, nothing has changed. You don’t control consumers. On a good day, we only hope we can influence them.

Myth number five: “Social media is all about authenticity”

Social media is about being polite and likable.
I think the goal of most people immersed in social media is the opposite of authenticity. Their goal is “try not to suck.” Everyone is doing their best to channel their inner Oprah. It’s a popularity contest, pure and simple.

One man’s opinion? Sure. But that’s the nature of the blogosphere. What’s important is that Mark calls into question the conventional wisdom of SM, and he does so without name calling or accusations. It’s a fastball of a post in a softball world.

I love contrarians who challenge our thinking. Mark has done that.

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3 Responses to Critical views of social media are far too rare

  1. Bill, I looked for your blog after your comment today … and imagine my surprise when I saw “me” staring back. : )

    Thank you so much for the kind comments and encouragement. I’ve poked around your blog a bit and will certainly be a regular follower.

    My best wishes and thanks, Mark

  2. Bill Sledzik says:

    If I were truly a “nice” SM person, I’d have let you know what I was up to. I have to work on my social-media manners!

    But as you point out, that’s part of the problem. We’re too concerned with playing nice. Real conversations just aren’t that way. I can handle hardball. Suspect you can, too.

  3. Bill!

    a) I saw the photo above and thought, “wow, I haven’t seen Bill in so long that he looks completely different.” Then I realized it’s Mark and not you!

    b)I absolutely agree that it’s impossible to control the conversation (unless of course, you’ve done such a poor job of targeting that the only people participating in the conversation are you and your client). Influence is the goal to strive for.

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