Mack poses two really good questions about social media and companies:
So if Social Media is overrated and overhyped, as some claim, why are all these big companies putting money into this space? On the flipside, if social media IS working for companies, why can’t they more effectively show the bottom-line results?
To me, the answer is because it’s not overrated. Social media as a term and concept is far from overrated. It’s still an infant and it’s only going to get better. Mack also provides an answer to what I feel may be one of the problems:
I’ve blogged before about how I am ‘tired’ of talking about Dell’s wonderful work in this space. Simply because I want to see other Fortune 500 companies follow Dell’s lead and get active with social media as a way to reach their customers.
That’s just it. Other services, companies, products, and tools are not following the social media lead. Like every other early adopter tool it’s taking mainstream a while longer to catch on the way we have. One reason is because we eagerly embrace these things, yet stand to lose nothing in doing so. Companies on the other hand stand to lose a ton of money if the results of investing in social media aren’t financially positive. So, on one hand it’s understandable for them to not embrace social media the way we have. On the other hand, we know that some companies are just stuck in their old ways.
Social Media Services May Be Overrated
I’ll end this post with the fact that social media services may be becoming overrated. I’ve somewhat elaborated on why I feel this way in my previous post The Repetition of The Blogosphere:
All the latest sites and services are all the same to me. Clones. Clones that do one feature better than the original. Clones that don’t have any of the features that the original has. Clones that are playing catch-up and clones that should have never seen the light of day because the original was a dumb idea to begin with. There’s nothing to talk about because there really isn’t any “real”" news. Innovation is at an all time low and we’re all suckers for it because something is better than nothing. Well, screw that!
Social media innovation has hit a plateau. Andy DeSoto does a nice job with Falling short of true content creation by summarizing a problem with blogging (content creation versus content commentary) that could also be applied to social media:
I think part of what can occasionally make the blogging experience less rewarding is that writing about a niche topic, whether politics, technology, food, or otherwise, is often an exercise in finely treading a line between content creation and mere content commentary. When we spend too much time creating metacontent, that is, content about content, things start to feel much less rewarding for us.
I think in the tech world, the danger of this metacontent is that tech bloggers rarely are the ones that are creating the primary source content. Personally, I think that if I had the requisite technical coding or design skills, for instance, I would be creating iPhone applications instead of merely writing about them.
Content Is King. Creation is Godly.
It’s all about creation. Content is king. Creative content is godly. The same applies for social media. The fatigue and suggestions of being overrated may lie in the fact that we keep having to search for quality stuff that’s interesting to not only our audience, but ourselves. Our searches are fruitless these days and there’s no telling how long this dry spell will last.
Overrated? Not social media as a concept. However, what’s coming out of it these days just might be.