That’s right, I said it. Social media is BS. You might be asking yourself, “Why would she say something like that when she’s active on Twitter and probably gets most of her blog traffic from social media?”
Good question. It’s true that I get most of my traffic from social media. But when it comes to ROI, social media is BS.
I’ve been ruminating on this topic for a while. Back in December, Social Times ran a piece titled The Future of Social Commerce. I saw the post on – you guessed it – Twitter, and I was intrigued. I thought, “Finally! Someone is measuring the ROI of social media!”
Take a look at that post. Take a really close look at this part of the ridiculously humongous infographic:
OK, so I’ve editorialized here. But look at the circled text: they’re equating “having a presence” with driving sales. Really?
Back in the day, in another life, I did outside sales for traditional media. I can tell you right now that “having a presence” in a client’s place of business sure as heck did not equate ROI for me. Walking into a store or office won’t guarantee sales, and neither does “having a presence” in social media. People do not buy from you just because you’re there.
As for the comment “Meteoric rise of Pinterest demonstrates that Curation is the future of Social Commerce” – that’s just crazy talk. I’ll admit – Pinterest is cool, and I’ve seen several companies using it effectively. A few might even be making money from it. But because a bunch of scrapbookers and people with time on their hands have adopted Pinterest means it’s the “future of Social Commerce”? Give me a break.
I could go on and on. But what sparked me to finally write this post was a great post over at Search Engine Watch by Nathan Safran titled Can We Please Stop Hyping Social as the Marketing Messiah? Indeed. As of this writing, the post has garnered 55 comments. I don’t know how many comments the average SEW post gets, but as a regular contributor I can tell you that in 5 years of writing for them, I don’t think I’ve gotten 55 comments TOTAL. It’s a hot topic for sure.
Social media is also a nice shiny object. People are attracted to it because it’s new and exciting. But new and exciting doesn’t equal sales, either.
What do you think? Is social a bunch of hooey, or is it the future of commerce? Or something in between?