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You Can't Push Rope (& Other Clichés) - A Social Media Rant

Those who know me well will recognise this as one of my favorite sayings.

If it needs explaining, what it really means is that rope is great for pulling stuff, but if you try pushing it, then it simply crumples.

Rope-November-14The same can be said about Social Media. Let’s be honest, Social Media was not designed by business for business, yet we have hijacked it and tried to mould it and make it about us, often ignoring the real users of social to meet our own ends.

We have created a bandwagon that we have all had to jump on, yet most of us don’t have a clue where that bandwagon is going. We have created a millstone round our necks that we have to keep chipping away at it, just in case there is a way we can influence someone in the hope that they might refer or recommend or like us or plus us or Digg us etc.

The trouble is we are trying to push that bandwagon with rope! Online is a pull medium – the viewer is in control, not you! Yet we are all still trying to push out irrelevant nonsense.

Don’t get me wrong, having your message in front of the right person at the right time is what we, as marketeers are paid to do, but do it badly or ignore the real needs of your audience and you will alienate them.

Intergage MarketingJourney Illustration10Social is subtle, it is about people connecting with like-minded people, friends keeping in touch and sharing experiences and we as businesses, on the most part, are galumphing around like the bull in the china shop littering the social landscape with bull****.

From the very biggest, to the very smallest we are all trying to push our own bit of rope in the hope it will make us money. Hooves and horns flailing wildly in excitement at the social media revolution taking place around us. Desperately trying to get a slice of pie.

This continual blunderbuss broadcasting and repurposing of other people’s content – without a care for the relevance to the audience just so they feel they are making some noise and tick the box of “doing social” – is damaging to businesses large and small alike.

Take a look at what some of the large corporates do. They still fail to understand their audience and continue to use Facebook as a way of being as condescending as possible to those who use it. Don’t believe me? Check out Aldi’s.

social head 14thDecision time

As a business you need to make some decisions. Is doing social like pushing rope, are you only doing it because you think you should? If you are doing social, are you doing it badly because you don’t know how to do it well, or have you simply buried your head in the sand, ignoring the new wave of Generation C?

Social is expensive. having a coherent social plan takes time to implement and time to deliver effectively, so if your audience isn’t out there or you can not be bothered to target them properly, please don’t bother, if not for your sake then for the sake of your poor cat who keeps appearing in your feed!

However, if you want help to understand how to do it effectively, then join us on our training courses.

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