Six Social Marketing Memes I Wish Would Die

by · August 4, 201412 comments

We social — nay content — nay digital marketers sure are a predictable bunch. Please know that my “we” does include me. We’ve top-10’d and How-to’d and Infographic’d our way to taking an online space full of intelligent signal to unintelligible noise faster than a bitchy customer can tweet.

Even from a purely social perspective, we aren’t than original. Some of the personal content I see from my friends in the space is the same old crap, eaten up, chewed up and spat out again and again like they’re a robin feeding a nest of chicks. And, as Nichole smartly explored last week, most of what we do here is all fueled by our egos. Some of them are playful and innocent. Others are pointed and somewhat sinister. Still others are flat out of control.

What better way to express my sarcastic cranky-ism than to summarize what’s pissing me off about the social marketing space these days than in a list post, right? Hypocritical and all, here you go:

  1. List Posts

    List posts are like social media’s cheap ploy to get in your pants. Sure, the SEO geeks have told us all their stats about how many more click-throughs we’ll get. We’ve not once stopped to think that maybe our audience is interested in more than just sex … er sizzle. I’ve thought from the beginning David Letterman should just sue us all. Try harder.

  2. “How To …” Posts

    Another gimmick that the data dorks swear by. They’re not wrong and being instructional and helpful is a solid strategy for anyone’s content. But for the love of Christ can we please Thesaurus-ize our headlines? For all we know, our audience is writing posts in their head like, “Why I don’t click on your unoriginal crap.” Try harder.

  3. Bragging about unplugging

    Guess what? We didn’t miss you while you were gone either. Stay that way.

  4. Blaming Facebook for your organic content’s failure

    Your content isn’t good enough. If it was, you wouldn’t be complaining. Someecards has awesome content, as do many other brands. Guess what? Their organic reach on Facebook is growing. Your job is to create great content. All you do is bitch about how your shitty content isn’t considered great. Start over.

  5. “Announcing” everything about your personal brand

    If you are not a nationally elected figure, movie/television/music/theatre/sports figure or Kardashian, you are not a goddamn celebrity. No one gives a rat’s ass about your career shift or new content focus or new job. If they care about that and not the meat of what you bring to the table, then you bring nothing to the table. Start over.

  6. “Gurus” telling you how you should do things

    Pot — kettle — black. Ignore them. Ignore me. Blaze your own trail. Think your own thoughts. You know you have an audience to reach. You know what messages you need to send them. Figure out a meaningful way and stop wasting your time listening to generalists babble on about our thoughts and how they *might* apply to you. That’s a great way to reset your mind, your work and your success.

And, yes. You should take all that stuff up there with the appropriate grain of salt and come back tomorrow for more awesome on SME. ;-)

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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • Jensee

    Wow. These aren’t gimmicks. Lists and bullets are because people scan online. I don’t blame FB for my reach, but if you didn’t notice the serious nosedive in reach between Sept 30 and Oct. 1, 2014, you weren’t paying attention. It was INSANE. I had over 2,000 reach per post (and I only had 2,000 followers on my then-little blog one day, the next it was less than 60. FB admitted it, why can’t you? So we learned, we adapted and now I have 20,000 reach per post. It’s called adapting to the changing environment – not bad content.

    I’m just going to watch. Lack of professionalism and foul language have never won friends and influenced people.

  • Jensee

    Wow. These aren’t gimmicks. Lists and bullets are because people scan online. I don’t blame FB for my reach, but if you didn’t notice the serious nosedive in reach between Sept 30 and Oct. 1, 2013, you weren’t paying attention. It was INSANE. I had over 2,000 reach per post (and I only had 2,000 followers on my then-little blog one day, the next it was less than 60. FB admitted it, why can’t you? So we learned, we adapted and now I have 20,000 reach per post. It’s called adapting to the changing environment – not bad content.

    I’m just going to watch. Lack of professionalism and foul language have never won friends and influenced people.

  • Michele Martin

    Jensee, you may get more flys with honey, but Jason isn’t peddling sugar coated bs. He knows what he is talking about and if you are offended by spicy language, why the hell are you reading Jason Falls? He’s an opinionated southerner fueled on sports and bourbon. He’s not trying to “make friends” or nfluence people. He doesn’t call himself a “guru”, he isn’t selling nonsense. He’s out there working in the field, rather than just standing on stages talking about his theories.

    Whether you choose to listen or not, is up to you, but regardless of his adult language (gasp), he has a hell of a lot of people on his side, so… feel free to just watch. Professionalism is not defined by puritanical pc language or watching out for the potential feelers of every reader. If we all did that, we’d never move ahead, because no one would ever disrupt the pc gods.

  • SelfieHumblebrag

    If you’re considering an addendum to this post, add “storytelling.” No one cares about anyone’s story. Keep that crap to yourself, son.

  • http://www.srchblg.com/ Seb Atkinson

    I’ve been campaigning against list posts for some time! http://www.squaresocial.co/5-reasons-why-5-reason-posts-wont-cut-it-any-more/

  • http://www.edisonresearch.com Tom Webster

    THIS IS A LIST POST. I LOVE YOU ANYWAY.

  • http://www.socialidentities.com Hugh Briss

    I wholeheartedly agree with #6.

  • http://danieljohnsonjr.com/ danieljohnsonjr

    There is such an insane amount of noise that I’ve personally stopped creating related content like this. Instead I want to do more, a la #6.

  • Dennis Lynn

    Supply and demand.

  • http://uber.la jmacofearth

    And you are kinda telling us how to do it.

  • http://maggiemcgary.com/ Maggie McGary

    You forgot announcing that you’re quitting Facebook–on Facebook. Then coming back to Facebook (or whatever platform) a month later.

  • Robin S

    Oh good. Jason, maybe you can give me/us some answers. This is not about my real business but a music fb page I run for love and the experience. I have awesome content that I steal from You Tube so I spend most of my time curating the best videos in the genre. It’s exactly what my demos want and I find the best quality of live perfs of very popular music and many good quality rare ones. So there is no doubt that even if my fans have heard the song for years (or not) on the radio, they probably have not seen some of these vids. Or wouldn’t mind at all seeing them again. btw cutting down from multiple to one post per day in the right day-part jumped my numbers. These old fogies do not interact much. Nor do they seem to care about the few and far between causes that should be of some interest at least even if no click thrus. Are most older people too jaded and apathetic, suspicious or what? Unlike everyone else, i do not sell anything at all…and they know it. you’d think they’d give a bit more for all the dam work i do for them. lots of people see but no likes,,,for rock music i know they love! wtf?