Social Media – A Bit of a Roundup

This is for those of you who think I’m at my best when dealing with social media as a topic area.

(Keen blog snorkellers may have noticed that I’m essaying a move away from just ranty nonsense about social media to more considered, but still ranty, horse-droppings about other elements of the communications mix. But it’s not to say that here isn’t still stuff to marvel at in the wacky world of social media, with all those fine gals, guys and horrible, abnormal cretins who are busy filling up the internet with mindless, unentertaining shyte. Oooop – did I say that out loud?)

So – thanks to the Evening Standard yesterday evening for their profile of Mark Zuckerberg (for those living in an hermetically-sealed coffin, buried at a depth of 75 metres beneath the Gobi Desert, he’s the 25-year-old wunderkind behind the terrifying Book of Face) and the idea that Facebook has a bigger advertising potential than Google. Which makes it pretty damn’ huge, ladies and gentlemen. As an aside, it also makes Marky richer than several squillion Croesuses, and good on him. Putting an interpretation on this, it means that otherwise sensible companies will be able to stop messing about with Facebook groups, sack their overpaid Heads of Social Media Strategy (bye-bye Scott Monty), and spend their money sensibly on the only thing that social media will ever offer to a commercial concern – advertising space. Yes, good old above-the-line.

What this means is, finally, we can all blow a big, fat raspberry in the face of the truly evil American idea of ‘The Conversation’. Ooooo – it’s all about The Conversation. The Conversation – it’s the future of business. We need to have ‘The Conversation’. I even came across – and I’m not going to link to it, it makes me all wobbly and cross – someone, with (I presume) a straight face, actually suggesting that a good measurement of social media strategy effectiveness would be a ‘share of conversation index’. Oh – please just f*ck off. You nasty little hippy.

And, therefore, the inevitable demise of The Conversation will mean a drop off in the slew of noisome Twitteration that’s being forced down our throats currently. Once and for all, Twitter is an ego trip and no-one cares what you are reading or eating or thinking/watching/excreting etc etc – except those people who also think that someone might be interested in what they are etc etc etc. This is why Twitter’s growth is slowing in the US. It’s a fad, always has been, and it will be for the rest of its (hopefully) short and dwindling existence.

Meanwhile, stuff surfaces proving once again a) the danger of social media to a company or brand and b) that every company, among its employees, has a greater or lesser number of fuckwits who I wouldn’t trust with a digestive biscuit, never mind access to a uncontrolled, unregulated, global communications portal.

Recently the employees of two UK electrical retailers – Currys and PC World – created a Facebook group, poking fun at their customers. Really, really stupid, did nothing for corporate reputation and, I sincerely hope, nothing for the career prospects of those who set the group up. Now, I read, again in The Standard (great paper – free, d’you see?), that they’ve done it again – and the clowns have set up a Facebook page as an open letter to their bosses, which – in summary – accuses them of being barriers to free speech. The sheer enormity of their delusion and stupidity is beyond comprehension.

And finally, as a little light relief, here’s something from I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – in capitals, just in case you’re missing the point – DO NOT LET YOUR EMPLOYEES ANYWHERE NEAR SOCIAL MEDIA IN WORK TIME, ON WORK BUSINESS, OR ON BEHALF OF YOUR BRAND OR COMPANY. There’s a lot of stupid people out there. Beware.

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