Are you on social media platforms just because you think you should be?

November 15, 2009

According to Sarah Hartley’s experiences here, that may well be the case. Great blog.

There seems to be a north-south divide in the uptake of social media, according to Hartley’s encounters of bloggers, tweeters and media types in London and Leeds. The overall account of the London ‘meeja’ was not entirely inspiring, in that the appearance of City journos being ‘switched on’ 24-7 does not necessarily give the reality of being in touch, utilising social media for a wider purpose, or even, ultimately, demonstrating a larger understanding of social media.

The Leeds experience, however, seems to be a different story. Engaged, interactive, questioning, challenging.

Pushing boundaries. This seems to be one of the main areas where media types – particularly traditional media¬† – are jumping onto social media because they think they ‘should’ rather than because they actually want to, or have something to contribute.

Social media is social. Obvious point? Well, put it this way: when was the last time you contributed something useful, valid and valued to the stream of social media editorial? Is it all second-hand news, no real voice, nothing authentic or genuine?

I’ve seen lots of media and marketing types observing, re-tweeting, idea-stealing and copying (for want of a better word) the work of others online and across various social media platforms. And yes, the old “nothing is original” argument is true to a point, but the copiers and plagiarisers still appear on social media spaces too. Ho hum.

It appears, at least according to Hartley’s participation in the north and south social media encounters, the northern participants are actually questioning and challenging why they are taking part in social media, rather than just being there and adding nothing of value for the increasing voices we see online. I, for one, know that social media is about what you put in, not take out.

And this is the unfortunate lesson many traditional media folk and old-school marketers are still missing. Give, give, give a bit.


2 Responses to “Are you on social media platforms just because you think you should be?”

  1. There is more of a struggle north of the border for social media, especially in businesses but that’s understandable. Companies who question the value of blogs and websites though – that leaves me shaking my head.

    • bristoleditor said

      Totally with you on that Craig!

      I found talking to potential blogging clients in London from 2003 was a struggle, but at least the ‘value over cost’ discussion doesn’t seem to raise itself so often now.

      What can you do to reduce the resistance from businesses to getting involved in the blogosphere etc? Tricky one to resolve at times.



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