Overhyped Social Media For Business


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More from Sam in Ireland:

Q: Do you feel that the potential value of social media to the modern
business has been over-hyped?

A: Yes. In fact that’s one of the main themes of the book I’m working on. Others have defined something called the “hype cycle” where something gets a lot of buzz, causing others to jump on the bandwagon which creates more buzz until things get to a point where people realize that they really don’t like the thing all that much. Or, they find they do, and then it all becomes stable.

We’re in that buzz phase. Twitter is a prime example. It’s so limited in functionality and practical use, but the buzz has caused millions to get accounts. Then they leave just about as quickly. Somewhere about 80% of accounts are dormant. Eventually people will notice that it’s not quite a “big thing”.

Given the claims, there is remarkably few success stories relative to the number of business who have tried and are failing badly. This is remarkably similiar to the hype (which is short for hyberbole, which means exageration) that happened in the late 1990’s around the Internet and e-commerce in general. This time, though companies are finding out quickly that social media isn’t a goldmine, but it has some characteristics of a minefield.

The hype contributes to pulling businesses in to social media and much of the resources they use will be wasted, and have a negative return on investment. We won’t necessarily hear much about those failures, but there is a distinct cost to overhype this time.

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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