Are We Worn Out

Social media marketing was an additional responsibility, now it's an "instead of" one

by Eric Brown |

Now that we are a few years into this social media maze, I’m curious:

How is everyone feeling?

For me, my level of energy and interest came into question a few times last week. The incidents ran the gambit: From remember-the-good-ole-days when we all shared everything on Twitter, (now we don’t in fear of giving something away); to a couple blog posts I read that essentially yelled, “Uncle!” The authors say they’ve had enough and can’t keep up. Are we just worn out?

The problem gets worse for business owners. They’re dumb-fangled by the newest job titles floating around — social coordinator, community manager and such. Who are you firing or replacing in order to afford these new position? What are you going to stop doing in order to sustain Social? You can’t do it all.

Most of the angst is coming from small business folks who were way ahead of the social curve and were early adopters of the new tools and techniques, and the today-unemployed, tomorrow social media consultant set. We are far enough into the game and evolution of social marketing that it is beyond a single proprietor shop to be really effective for business, and those early adopters that were doing it all themselves truly are worn out.

Chris Penn touches on this topic a bit as well in his post titled “Is that Social Network a Ghost Town.” Part of the issue here is that not every social tool, platform and technique is adaptable or appropriate for every business:

Recently, a few folks have asked if (insert name here) social network is a ghost town. Let’s be clear to start: any place with more than a million people in it is by default not a ghost town. If Twitter/Facebook/Google+ had under a million people in it, then I think you could make the claim that it’s a ghost town in social network terms with reasonable credibility. But none of these networks could accurately be called that. Numerically, Twitter is around the 8th largest country in the world, Facebook the 3rd. Google+ is in the vicinity of 4th or 5th. Any place that sports more population than significantly-sized real world nations is not a ghost town.

 What’s at the heart of the claims that X social network is a ghost town is this: the network is not delivering the results you’re looking for. I made this claim for me about Google+, and it’s a claim I continue to stand by. For me, for how I use social networks, for the limited time and resources I have available per day to devote to any one network, Google+ simply does not deliver the same bottom-line results that other networks do because the way I use it doesn’t work well with the service.

Many of the early adaptors who jumped in on the social media wave are struggling to keep pace. Social Media has become a big business. With big business come defined results. The folks writing the checks have gained some social media savvy and started to evolve. They are past the fad stage. They are demanding certain business results, one of which is lower marketing costs.

Businesses also need to digest what they will stop doing as they dive deeper into social outreach. If new media, or whatever label you choose to attach to it really works, then you no longer need to do something else. Accurately assessing the Something Else will be a vital part of your social success and perhaps a great starting point to relieve the “fatigue.”

So are you just tired of social media marketing? Have you hit a wall? Ponder and ask yourself why. Then see if it’s because you’ve added work, but not removed other work to make this all happen. Assess from there and see if you can improve.

Tell us about your experiences in the comments.

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About the Author

Eric Brown

Eric Brown's background is rooted in the rental and real estate industries. He founded metro Detroit’s Urbane Apartments in 2003, after serving as senior vice president for a major Midwest apartment developer. He established a proven track record of effectively repositioning existing rental properties in a way that added value for investors while enhancing the resident experience. He also established The Urbane Way, a social media marketing and PR laboratory, where innovative marketing ideas are tested.