Why Am I Angry(?) About Social Media?


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It’s fitting that we start off this blog with this questions, since I’ve been asked it a few times, and Social Media meets Customer Service is going to be a major topic here. So here’s the answer, or part of it.

Not Angry, Frustrated At Wasted Resources and the Power of Social Media Pundits

My concern as an adviser to businesses, author and consultant is that the social media “movement is being pushed by people who have established their influence solely on their ability to manipulate people via social media, and thus, have a very heavy vested interest in moving people, including those in charge of customer service, to operate within the social media space.

Why should I care about this level of influence? Jealousy? No. I’ve got “mine”, thanks and I have no desire to be rich, famous or considered a guru. Neither am I willing to do what is required to be those 3 things. The answer is this: The social media pundits and those with influence have and continue to persuade people to invest their time and energy into operating on social media platforms despite the fact (FACT) that there is very little documentation that operating in that space will actually benefit people.

So, what we have is tens of thousands of small businesses wasting their time trying to Twitter themselves to success, when they need to be doing the basic things that we KNOW are required to succeed in business. Big business is not immune. Through application of some terrible logic major companies like HP, Dell, and IBM have moved to provide customer service via the social media, and all that can be documented is that it’s additional overhead.

I’ll provide evidence to that effect and a lot more. But that’s for another time. NOW, I’m tired of hearing that you MUST be on Twitter or you will die. I’m tired of hearing that schools will disappear to be replaced by Twitter learning, or Ipods (Like, Huh?). I’m tired of seeing virtually every set of research number misinterpreted by people who are either intentionally obscuring the truth, or are (more likely) simply ignorant. Because it costs people time and money.

I am worried about the pulling of resources from education and allocating them to this latest of fads — e-learning – which doesn’t even have a cogent definition.

I’m also concerned about Social Media as a platform for propaganda and its effect on democracy, because the people who are pushing social media have no oversight. In this scariest of worlds, popularity determines truth and who hears the truth. While the social media proponents claim this is a great move to democracy, it’s not. It’s the opposite — the pinnacle of a marketing based society where again, truth is determined by who can gather the most adherents, and NOT by documented facts, research.

My focus here is on customer service. Yes. That is one of my things, and it’s mostly what we will talk about. But we will talk about the false claims made about social media as it relates to customer service. I will explain, and I think, prove to you, why so much of what you are told about customer service and social media is WRONG.

People will claim I’m angry, cynical, but one thing you won’t find is real debate on the part of social media proponents. There are reasons for that, I think, not the least is an absence of courage, and an understanding that addressing critics interferes with the manipulation and control they currently have in the social media space.

Finally, on this subject, I welcome discussion here. It’s about one of the places it CAN occur openly. I doubt we’ll see any attempts to counter the numbers and facts I have to share, though.

That’s the nutshell. Now, on to Customer Service.

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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