*Unless you're already rich and powerful, and even then it's overrated
We live in the Age of Facebook and Twitter. Many mass delusions have been constructed around the alleged importance of so-called "social media." For example, you certainly can't build an economy around it. B.J. Mendelson speaks out against this dubious, conventional wisdom in his new book Social Media Is Bullshit.
Finally! — somebody is publically blowing the whistle on this nonsense. It took long enough. The Daily Ticker's Aaron Task interviewed Mendelson last week.
While the title is clearly designed to be provocative, the book is actually a fairly sober and analytical look at social media, which Mendelson says is "a term coined by marketers to repackage and resell stuff to you."
Despite the endless hype, scant few individuals become famous on social networks and fewer still make money from it, he says. While Facebook and the like are good for reconnecting with old friends, they should be used for entertainment purposes only — if at all, he says.
"People hear 'think before you Tweet?' The real question is 'do I even need to be on Twitter in the first place?,'" Mendelson says. "Unless you're a big brand, big celebrity or big media outlet, you're not going to get the kind of results" promised by social evangelists like Chris Brogan, Gary Vaynerchuk and Scott Monty. (As an aside, Mendelson pulls no punches with these folks in the book; ironically, that's likely only of interest to the "Cyber Hipsters" Mendelson criticizes.)
Furthermore, analysis of five case studies of social marketing campaigns by Ford, Zappos, Jet Blue, Dell and Kia Motors suggest 'social' isn't so great at driving sales, either.
"The myth of social media is you have to be on these platform…to engage with your audience when no one even says what that means," Mendelson says.
In the video below, Mendelson elaborates on his view that scant few individuals become famous on social networks and fewer still make money from it. Unless you're a Big Corporation or a Big Celebrity, Facebook or Twitter are of no economic value to you. Zero. None. Zip. Nadda. You can't raise money on these platforms, you can't start a meaningful, lasting social movement on Twitter—see Occupy Wall Street—you can't do much of anything except stay in touch with your friends or have meaningless conversations or disputes with people you don't know. Generally speaking, you are simply fodder for big, powerful advertisers, and even these would-be marketeers can't demonstrate that social media boosts sales.
In short, outside the fact that Big-Brained, Bipedal Monkeys are Social Animals who like to keep in touch, social media is worthless. Perhaps you remember my post Mark Zuckerberg Is A Cretin, where I said the following—
It goes without saying that Facebook itself is a joke. Basically, it's a platform in which Zuckerberg and friends try to sell a bunch of monkeys some shit they don't need while these monkeys groom each other online. That's also why Twitter and smartphones are so popular—it's the constant stroking.
End of story.