Leaving Social Media Still Planned


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Q: In April you announced that your company will be leaving social media by the end of 2010. Are you still going to do that?

Robert: Yes. Nothing has happened in the last months to suggest that I should be spending ANY time on the major social media platforms, at least in terms of business results. I suspect our pull back or pullout, whatever you want to call it, will happen before 2010.

Q: Is your plan to stop completely on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter?

Robert: Yes and no. I may pop in now and again to post something, but for my own amusement, not for business reasons. However, what we are going to do is continue to feed our blog posts into those social media platforms automatically. That way it’s not a drain on our time involving  doing things we hate to do, and is a struggle anyway. In other words, we are going to do what we can’t stand, which is to use social media as a broadcast one way mechanism to funnel people to our blogs or websites, where we will interact if asked. Similar to what Guy Kawasaki has done, albeit more openly.

Q: Since you’ve bemoaned the loss of “social” in social media, isn’t that a contradiction?

Robert: I suppose, but we are talking business decisions here. Why try to do something when the trend is going against you and you have zero power to influence it? Real interaction is and has been dropping like a stone on the major platforms, spam has increased, and many people who pretend to want to dialogue are doing just that, pretending. Why bother when it’s clear where things are and where things are going. Besides, on a personal note I’d rather interact with a very small group of really great people than worry about trying to interact with the great “mass” of people out there. Overall I’m not impressed with the level of discussions, particularly on Twitter.

I can do that with blogs, if people want a piece of that, and we don’t have to deal with the flow of crap.

Q: So, you are  planning to maintain your blogs?

Robert: I haven’t decided yet. It will be a month to month decision thing as it should be. If traffic warrants keeping them and updating them, we’ll do that. If not, we might kill them off, as we also plan on killing off a couple of our websites when we have time. We’re always experimenting. For example, we’re launching a new blog as part of our Performance Management and Appraisal Center very shortly to have an additional way to interact with our performance management customers and as a platform for The Busy Learner’s Guide To Making Performance Management and Appraisal Valuable, which will be available by September in print, and earlier in ebook form. My, that’s a shameless plug.

Q: I gather you haven’t come across any data to indicate you should be MORE active on the major social media platforms?

Robert: Nope. In fact, what I have seen confirms in my mind that for us and for most business purposes, the costs are too high particularly to get in the game properly, and I’m seeing more data that suggests a contraction of users and use, and movement towards a bubble burst, probably by sometime in 2012.

There is NO way I’m going to invest more time on creating influential and numerous friends/followers on something like Twitter when Twitter’s fundamentals (the numbers that suggest where it will be in 2 years) are so terrible. Same with Facebook. Some recent data indicated that Facebook users are just about as satisfied or dissatisfied with Facebook as they are with airlines, and that’s just about as bad as it gets. At the same time the celebrated Old Spice social media thing, touted by some as the most successful use of social media ever, may actually result in LOWER sales, at least on the basis of some early data. It’s hard to tell the validity of these numbers, but neither is a surprise to me.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Robert Bacal
Robert began his career as an educator and trainer at the age of twenty (which is over 30 years ago!), as a teaching assistant at Concordia University. Since then he as trained teachers for the college and high school level, taught at several universities and trained thousands of employees and managers in customer service, conflict management and performance appraisal and performance management skills.


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