Social media: The Brutal Truth

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I am not the one that runs our social media here at CM, but I just read an interesting article that I will pass over to them.

In The Brutal Truth about Social Media, the author suggests that most people friend or became a fan of a brand because they want to hear from them and be updated on the brand, not to talk to them.

Brands use social media as a way to engage their customers and the main way this is done is through conversation on the social media networks.

We see it all the time in surveys, polls, question and answer.  Some of these elicit more of a response then others, but after reading this article, I bet if we took a closer look, the same people would be responding.
And, Twitter and retweets, is this just traditional media?  Kind of like, “pass the magazine”?  You know, after reading something you than pass it over to a friend to read?

This is way off than what we have been hearing, but after I thought about it, that is exactly why I follow brands.  The only time I will comment on a brands status is if they are giving something away and it interests me.  Other than that, I don’t care to have a conversation with the brand’s Facebook representative.  I want to know what is new and what is going on with the brand.

If this has some truth to it, does it change the content we put on social media?  How?  What do you think?


  • April 24, 2012, 4:21 pm  Reply

    Nice points, Meredith. As CM’s Social Media Manager, I have a few thoughts to add from my perspective. While I appreciate Simon’s attempt to provide a different perspective, I think he falls short with his bold assumptions about the views of social media practitioners. I believe that if he actually spoke with true practitioners, and not just talking heads, he’d come to find out that our views are more alike than different.

    To start off, his statement that, “Many social-media ‘experts’ insist that a ‘two-way conversation’ between marketers and consumers is the whole point of social, and anything less than that is a reflection of outdated, broadcast-style thinking. ” While it’s true that a two-way conversation plays an important role in social media, it’s far from being the “whole point” of social efforts. Sure, engagement can be considered a sign of success but social also supplements traditional marketing and advertising efforts. Social media is just another form of communicating.

    He goes on to position a social media practitioner’s view of the “unengaged”, listening audience as a bad thing. I can’t obviously speak for the entire industry, but here at CM we value “listening” consumers. We know that many types of people make up a brand’s online community. If we have audience members who opt in with a “like” or “tweet” and are receptive to consuming our messages, well that’s considered a good thing. Even if they never say a darn thing!

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