Feature: Where's the Lens Cap?

90 Percent of Social Media Marketing is a Sham, 10 Percent is Genius

Author: Byron Sletten
Published: April 29, 2011 at 3:33 pm

You’d think this statement would piss off the social media gurus. But human nature would also suggest 90 percent of them would self-define as geniuses and agree with that estimate.

Somebody needs to call this out.
OK. Actually, I might be off on my estimate. If you refined the definition of social media marketing (SMM) and took out things like customer support communications, blog articles, or coupon-type services like Groupon, it’s probably more like 95 percent of social media marketing is a waste of time. Stay calm. Actually, it’s pretty much in line with other marketing tactics like direct mail, email marketing, banner ads,, and even telemarketing.

More about the stuff that works in a bit. Keep reading.

Let’s look at the distinction between social media and social media marketing. It’s like email vs. email marketing. Of course I use social media and I use email. Social media is fun and informative. Social media can offer some useful connections in what I would term a human search cluster. LinkedIn is a pretty good Rolodex service. It’s easier than going through a stack of business cards. It also offers some good discussions if you can wade through the spam posts. Some people think Facebook has become the ruination of many young careers, marriages, and relationships from publicly shared information and workplace distractions. I just find Facebook a moderately innocuous time-waster and it is somewhat enjoyable to connect with friends. The test on these overvalued and over-hyped free services is—would you use them if they charged? Not me.

But if so many people use social media why is social media marketing so challenging? With all these fish in the water, why shouldn’t you just go where the fish are? Why not just “buy” thousands of Twitter followers and then sell them stuff?

Sorry, tough love here – it’s mostly a waste of time

Continued on the next page

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Article Author: Byron Sletten

Byron Sletten has over 25 years of experience in digital media & interactive design. Please follow on Twitter - @byrons As owner & partner in MindActive (www.mindactive.com) this broad focus on digital media is currently directed to strategies and …

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