We’re now seven or eight years into this “social media” thing, and the conversations around it are still the same.
I bit on a tweet this morning from Laura Monroe, even though I tend to follow a simple rule popularized by Gahlord Dewald – “I stopped reading anything with a question in the headline.” In general, this is a pretty darn good rule to follow. But, all rules have exceptions and they usually involve relationships with people. Considering this context, it’s ironic how that works.
It’s ironic because I didn’t click on her link because I found the title compelling. I actually didn’t. I wouldn’t have clicked on that link had it been shared by any number of other people. The same content shared by one person has more value when shared by another with whom you have a stronger relationship. The key word being relationship.
Her tweet was this: “@EntMagazine: Why is social media doing such an awful job of turning readers into customers? http://entm.ag/1gLlTZ4 ” I knew what the answer to this question was and what the article was going to be about. I knew I was likely going to be disappointed by finding the same “answer” that has been broadcast over and over and over again. But I clicked anyway. Why? Relationship.
It’s the same reason why I clicked on Peter Brewer‘s Pit Bull Facebook ad yesterday, despite the fact that it’s not something I would normally be attracted to. It’s the reason why I click on almost any link I see in social media. But I’m not Peter’s target. Truth be told, I don’t really want to be anyone’s “target” in social media.
So, no, it’s not surprising that organic search and email dwarf social media in the customer acquisition category. And it’s not just because brands are “doing it wrong” with their approach, as the article goes on to argue. If every brand were “doing it right” I’m not sure it would change the numbers dramatically. Organic search and email dwarf social social media for customer acquisition because – SURPRISE! People don’t want to be customers on social media. Hashtag fact. Entrepreneur could have ended their post at the second paragraph and I’d have laughed and maybe even shared it via social media. But they’re likely to get more traffic from this blog post than my tweet. And that’s not ironic.
Seven or eight years from now this will remain true. But don’t be surprised if we’re still having the same conversation. I won’t be.