Social Media’s Downward Evolution

Weiss Advice Issue: 230,  September 2022

On a scale of 1-10, social media have devolved to about a 4 in terms of business utility.

I’d say Twitter is a 6, LinkedIn a 4, and Facebook a 2.

These are not major marketing tools, as I’ve explained 12,000 times, even for me, and I’m in the retail business. My new business comes from referrals and my books, primarily. How do I know? I ask.

But most of you are in the corporate marketplace, and corporate buyers use peer-level references, just as you do looking for, or helping others with, a doctor, vacation spot, or restaurant. This is not generational, it is not situational. It is rational.

LinkedIn is filled with people bragging about their good feedback and appointments; bemoaning their various setbacks and trauma; and beseeching others to help them for free.

Social media constitute a huge time dump. The people making money are those who claim they can help build your business on social media, even though they’ve never built one of their own except by offering marketing help on social media. I “respect” Twitter the most, because posts are delimited by characters and you needn’t follow anyone. (I follow no one and have 8,400 followers.) I share value on that platform,
hoping to help people.

So, the “tocsin” I’m sounding is that you can misallocate very valuable time on what seems simple (and is actually simplistic) while failing to invest sufficiently in networking, referrals, hosted events, and so on.

Social media are easy. Marketing is much more difficult. But, as a colleague said in a book he wrote, “There’s a reason they call it ‘work.’”

© Alan Weiss 2022

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