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The Limitations of Social Media
Categories: Technology

Ad Age has a brilliant post on the limitations of social media at The author talks about un-social social media. Excerpts below. Fav quote: “At the end of the day, social media should be a relationship vitamin and sweetener, not a destination.”

I once heard @garyvee at a social media conference lament how insane it is to have talking heads on a panel about social media lecture to the audience and tell them to hold their questions. I want to know what social media nonsense have you seen? – Kathy Sandler

“Connecting in meaningful ways over someone you have lost, or are losing, makes everything else we deem “social” seem so … well, unsocial. Or perhaps just a bit trivial.

Indeed, looking at the word “conversation” through the lens of social media, you almost wonder whether we’ve allowed it to become cheapened and commoditized….

At the end of the day, social media should be a relationship vitamin and sweetener, not a destination. It should deepen bonds, not defuse or soften them. Remember, volume doesn’t always translate into intimacy. Speed doesn’t guarantee meaningful connections. Retweets don’t necessarily confer respect. Friending doesn’t always signal friendliness.

As marketers, we’re just starting to emerge from the full force of the first social-media tsunami wave. We blinked, and suddenly 550 million people joined Facebook. We turned our head, and Twitter has become a national compulsion. All the world’s our friend. A kingdom for a good tweet….

But there’s a big distinction between “click-through” and “stick-through.” It takes real work and investment — and even tough head-count decisions (think “community managers”) — to nurture and grow relationships, and even that’s not a guarantee of success. This is why getting social media right is fundamentally an “enterprise” — and not merely a marketing — endeavor….”

“There’s yet another layer to this humbling meditation. What we also have here, amid our endless connections, is a failure to communicate — and we barely know it….”

1 Comment to “The Limitations of Social Media”

  1. Jill Ruthenberg says:

    Thanks for the article, great points to think about.

    Social media definitely is a paradox and communication can sometimes be trivial. But it was never really meant to be anything else. I mean, you only have 140 characters.

    Having said that, for business, Social Media is the most important “vitamin and sweetener” we can get. There is no doubt that Twitter and Facebook especially, are absolutely powerful influencers when you’ve got something worth saying and when you’re engaging your friends and followers.