Your Social Media 2011 Plans

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Q: Now that we’re into 2011, have your perspective on social media changed? Do you still see investing in it for business purposes as a low yield thing?

Robert: Yes. I haven’t seen any data to suggest otherwise. In the time we’ve cut back on our social media involvement, we’ve been able to allocate more time to business critical functions and to customer related activities that we’ve proven to work for us. Also, for me personally, I’m channeling my time and energy into writing off of social media. In 2010, I completed 3 revised editions for McGraw-Hill plus two books were published that were new or in a new format. There is a limit to what one can do with limited resources, and social media, at least the way the “pundits” tell us to use it, isn’t worth it. It simply doesn’t scale.

Q: What do you mean by “doesn’t scale” in business terms.

Robert: Ok. If I write a book, or even articles for my websites (not blogs), those become permanently useful to me as a business. Eacy day, for as long as things don’t change radically, people read them, or in the case of books, buy them. My initial efforts work, or scale no matter how many people are involved. If it’s one person, or one million people, there is no additional work involved.

Social media doesn’t work that way, because the platforms, including blogs, “treat” content within a chronological context. For example, your tweets, in effect, become invisible after a few hours or days. Blog posts, it turns out, seem to have a similar shelf life, although it’s a bit different — kind of halfway between a tweet or update and a web article.

If you want to use media, for whatever purpose, you want your investment of time and thought to keep working for you. Social media doesn’t provide that. In essence, you need to be “there” every day. And for minimal results.

Q: So where are you going from here?

Robert: My PERSONAL interactive involvement on social media has come to an end AS A BUSINESS TACTIC. I may occasionally tweet something or involve myself in a LinkedIn conversation but that’s for fun and interest and NOT for business promotion.

I’ll continue to post on my blogs, because I enjoy it, and I can repurpose content easily.

However, that’s not to say you won’t “see” me anymore. We have moved to a “push” mentality, something all the supposed experts tells us we shouldn’t do. Everything is automated. New blog posts are sent automatically to social media platforms. Article links and summaries from our huge online libraries are sent automatically. Our involvement on a human level is very limited.

Q: Do you still have an interest in the phenomenon of social media?

Robert: Yes. But not so much as a business tool. I’m interested in it as a mode of communication, and how it will affect society, a little like the stuff that Jaron Lanier has written about in You Are Not A Gadget, but a little more practically oriented. Less philisophical.

I dearly want to finish my book on social media which has kept me more involved in social media far longer than I would have liked. But, after all, if you are going to write a book about a “place”, you kind of have to visit the place.

Q: Thank you. Perhaps next time we can talk about the challenges of writing a book on social media.


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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