Is Social Media Dying?
I've got a question for you. Do you think social media is dying? Well, I happen to think it is. I think it's dying a slow death from a thousand cuts. A lot of people this particular week are really angry with Facebook because Facebook shared their data in a weaponized way. But Facebook didn't really do anything like that.
What Facebook did is what Facebook does. Facebook collects information about you, what you like, who you communicate with and all of your thoughts and ideas and emotional intelligence and then turns around and sells that as advertising. That what Facebook is in the business of.
One of my favorite stories is the story of Ray Kroc. When Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald's, asked what business he was in, most people said, “You're in the hamburger business”. But Ray Kroc said, “No, I am not in the hamburger business. I'm in the real estate business”. And that's exactly what Facebook is. Facebook is not in the social media business. They're in the data mining business. And that's what they do.
A Violation of Trust
People are angry with Facebook because they ‘FEEL' like it violated their trust. This is primarily because most people didn't even realize what the heck they were doing by just logging into Facebook.
I personally think that social media is slowly going to start to disintegrate. Why? Because I think it's becoming less and less relevant. And here are the three main reasons:
- Social Media Has Become Less Social and More Advertising
- People Are Flooding Platforms With Useless Videos
- Search On Social Media Sucks – Big Time!
1) Social Media Is A Complete Waste Of Time?
First of all, a lot of the information posted on social media is a complete and utter waste of time, especially when it comes to businesses. Now, we all love cute cat videos and other entertaining posts and things. Some people just love to get into political fights and try to change people's minds on there, but it just raises people's ire.
One of the things that the algorithm has done inside of Facebook is that it increased the amount of stuff that you see by people who agree with you from an emotional standpoint to 80%. Then you see 20% of agitators stuff to keep you coming back and arguing.
Facebook has utilized that all along. The one thing that it's done for businesses is it got us all hooked on this digital crack of opening up our business pages, creating groups, doing things that are supposedly going to help our business. But in reality, it's slowly but surely charging to use those things we got used to having for FREE for our businesses. They are in the business of basically gathering data and reselling it.
What are some of the other things that I'm seeing?
One thing I've noticed is that LinkedIn is much better at searching than Facebook is. If you've tried searching inside of Facebook, you get just a big mishmosh of things, but LinkedIn does provide slightly better results as a search engine.
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2) Pointless Videos
One problem with LinkedIn is that it's now being overtaken by everybody who got the memo that said: Here's what you have to do to sell your business. You open up your laptop. You sit in front of your camera and you sit there and you pitch. And they pitch about ‘Let me tell you why your mindset is not quite in the right place.' or ‘What color is blue?'
People are constantly putting videos up with little to no content that can REALLY benefit their intended audience. They just don't understand that nobody's going to sit there for 20 or 30 minutes listening to them go on and on and on without having real content. These video sales pitches are just becoming overwhelming on social media. It's happening on Facebook too; I haven't quite seen it on Twitter yet, but it's coming. And with Instagram Story, you're going to see more and more and more of that. Here's what it boils down to: How do we make what we do relevant — especially to the audience that we're trying to reach?
It all starts with content. You need to be able to create great content that people want to pay attention to. Guy Kawasaki recently said it at the beginning of a conference — people asked him, “How do you get noticed on social media?” The answer to that question is simple. “Produce good crap.”
What he meant by “produce good crap” is produce information that people want to pay attention to. You need to study what it is that's working and understand what's not working. There are all kinds of tips and techniques that I could get into, but I don't have time to dig into each one (I will do in later posts).
One that I have mentioned before is that on LinkedIn, I'm finding 1,300 character posts to be very engaging with the right picture. As a matter of fact, I'm getting more engagement from those than just about anything else I've tried recently. I'm also getting a lot more engagement on Twitter by re-posting some of my older blog posts and my podcasts. People are getting more interested in good information that helps them to achieve a certain level of knowledge and helps them to see things a little bit differently.
3) Is It Searchable?
The question you have to ask yourself is, if people are going to find your content, how are they going to find it? Social media is an enclosed capsule. In other words, Google and other search engines can not get in there and find your content. If you're spending all of your time producing content inside of social media, it's going to sit inside the social media (and therefore won't be findable by those without accounts and access).
Platforms like Facebook do not allow you to get searched the way that you really need or want to. The same thing is true with LinkedIn. I went in and typed one of the key phrases from one of the articles that I wrote (it was ‘Angry with Facebook'). I found a whole bunch of people, but I found nothing about my post or any other content. There is no way could anyone find that content unless somebody was following me and they were scrolling through my posts.
From a search engine standpoint, social media is becoming less and less relevant when people have a question. Unless they already know, like and trust you and are following you, you are invisible. Yes, groups are great right now, but I don't know how much longer they're going to be great bastions of knowledge or just more noise.
Text-based search engines are so powerful. As a matter of fact, one of the revolutions that I would like you to pay attention to is Voice Search. I've mentioned it before and I'm going to mention it again. Voice Search is what is powering Alexa, Siri, Cortana and Google Assistant. When somebody asked Alexa (or one of the others) a question, it's going to pull up answers that it finds on the web. How does it find those answers? It searches text.
That means that the keywords that you put into your videos, the text, the titles, the subtitles that you put into your blog posts are going to have more value in the long run for people that are starting to break away from social media and are starting to search more back in the traditional form of going to Google and saying, “How do I solve my problem with “fill in the blank?” “How do I figure out how to find the friend request that I've sent on Facebook?” Try doing that on Facebook. If you do it in Google, you'll find the answer a lot faster.
The thing that you want to concentrate on is creating great content that can be searched and found by the audience that you're trying to reach. And ultimately, the most important thing is to answer the questions that they're asking. How do you know which questions to answer? Well, if you're starting to create influence, just ask them. Spend more time creating great content that talks to the audience that potentially will want to buy from you and your business.
I would love to hear your thoughts and comments on your challenges with communicating about your business in this new online environment. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas or questions about showing the concepts presented. Have you had to overcome any of the presented concepts? What worked and what did not live up to expectations? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?
To learn more about this and other topics on Internet Marketing, visit our podcast website at http://www.baconpodcast.com/podcasts/