Don’t know about you, but the term “Social Media” annoys me. It sounds fake. What’s wrong with “talking”, or “conversing”, or “chatting”, or “writing”?
I suspect I know “the problem”. Those things aren’t Marketing-itized enough! People can charge a lot more for Social Media in the same way they can charge a lot more for bottled water. Or perhaps bottled air is a more appropriate metaphor.
The downside of all this is what appear to be authentic conversations can turn out to be thinly-veiled press-releases, and we all hate press-releases because they aren’t authentic conversations. They mimic conversations, but the intention is something different.
What do people do when they suspect they aren’t engaged in an authentic conversation? Their guard goes up. Just like when the used car salesman approaches, saying “how’s your day going?”, you know the state of your day is the last thing on his mind.
Social Media cannot work when peoples’ guard is up. YouTube isn’t Social Media. It is a place people go to watch and post cool videos. A forum isn’t Social Media, it’s a place where people go to have a discussion. Blogs aren’t Social Media, they are places where people go to read stuff and make comment. A company that bolts on Social Media as some kind of backwards PR strategy, with little purpose other than to have a Social Media strategy, is probably going to end up sounding pretty fake, pretty soon. Just like their press releases did.
Like all good things social, the authenticity of the conversation is key.