Moving on (sort of) from ‘social media’

It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged here, and I mean, since I’ve actually written anything of value to anyone who reads it. I think I’ve been internally struggling with what to write about, since I don’t feel the same way about many of the topics that I’ve previously covered here. The truth is, I’ve grown away from a lot of the ways I view things professionally, and this place was always a way to express my professional views and opinons. The truth is, this blog grew as I did, and evolved as my opinions did – even if it was contradictory to what I felt before.

So here I am, in a state of uneasiness, wondering if those I would consider my peers will look at me funny. I want to share my views with you on a topic that is covered a million times over on this blog: social media. I also want to share my realizations of the last 4 months or so with you;

  • If social media is what you do for a living, your job won’t last forever.  This is kind of a loaded statement – no job lasts forever, especially in any tech-related business. What I mean, is that it’s a mistake to invest your life into a career that will be obsolete sooner than later. I say this because, as a marketer, I now see the bigger picture. Social media on its own, makes no sense for a business. A lot of people will say “of course not, it’s obviously just one piece of the pie” – but what I’m saying is that if you need a ‘social media strategy’ then you’re doing it wrong. You need a business strategy, you need organizational goals, you need a website, you need eCommerce, you need marketing, you need videos, and then if you have time and money left over, you need social media. The reason I say your sole job in life shouldn’t be social media is because all of the things I just listed are more lucrative careers than the ‘social media strategist/manager/officer/nun-chuck-wielding-superhero.
  • Revolutionary platforms don’t equal bullshit engagement and content strategies, be revolutionary and engagement and content will come. Facebook is revolutionary – it changed the way we look at keeping in touch, it changed the way we share photos, it changed the way we marketed. Twitter is revolutionary – it changed the way we share and consume real-time information, it opened up networking beyond just the people you knew IRL. YouTube is revolutionary – it changed everything about video, period. Instead of focusing on how to ‘make your brand look good’ or ‘gain brand awareness’ you should, as a marketer, focus on using these revolutionary platforms to do something revolutionary. It’s cause and effect. Simple. Stop worrying about who is liking your stupid Facebook post – that will come with awesome content – which will come from your users – which will be more likely to interact with your brand if they don’t have to think about it – which will come from an effortless encounter with an Open Graph app – rinse, repeat. I’m not talking about customer service, I’m talking about brand interactions through technology that eventually lead to a nicer looking bottom line.
  • Money talks. Working in an agency environment, my whole perspective on monetization has changed. Everything has a dollar value. The time I spent writing this post has a dollar value. What’s the return on this for me? Therapy (at $100+/hr, I guess it’s worth it, right?). Google Analytics and AdWords are some of the best tools ever invented – you can track every step a user or potential customer makes in your sales funnel from ad (or search) to sale. Everything is important; how long they stay, where they go, where they click, everything. In turn, everything you do as a marketer, web designer, etc. can be assigned a dollar value (whether earned or spent), so if you’re spending a lot, you better be earning twice that back.
  • There’s value beyond buzzwords.  Before, I was in an environment where I was pigeonholed. “Social media specialist”, and that’s about it. No matter how interested I was in other things, there were departmental walls that I just could not break through. I would have to learn things like Google Analytics on my own time on my own sites, and it just was never the same. I love social media, I probably always will.. but I love it from a technology perspective and a user perspective. Professionally, I see a lot more value in the digital realm as a whole – so I want to know all of it. Sure, there are some social elements in this; Open Graph apps, analytics, advertising – but on a bigger scale, all of those things are digital not social specific. I can do all those things on a website and through other means.

I kind of feel like this was a big rant, or vent, whatever you want to call it – but I think it’s important that everyone understand that I’ve moved on from my pigeon hole. I still love and will keep up with the social sphere, it’s still baked in to a lot of what I do professionally… but it is not my sole focus anymore. I’m just as interested in creating strategies for websites, diving into as many advertising programs as possible, and peppering my everyday work life with social.

-m.

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2 comments

  1. lucas_powell · October 6, 2012

    Great post Marissa, glad to see you blogging like this again. You never sugarcoat the truth about corporate SM and that’s what makes it fun to read.

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