Social media is a fad. Really?

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard a marketing professional tell me that social media is nothing more than a passing fancy, I’d have my coveted iPad by now.

It boggles my mind that anyone in their right mind can form their lips to say social media is a ‘fad’ when Facebook has over 500 million people using it, and is the largest social media network in the world.

When you add the over 75 million Twitter users, 50 million YouTube users, 40 million Flickr users, and countless tens of million users of the various and sundry other social media platforms out there, calling social media a ‘fad’ is just plain ridiculous.

You can imagine my shock to hear someone from Ogilvy say that they’ve never used Twitter.

I nearly smacked them!

How the f*ck are you getting paid all that dough..or rather, how are you getting your clients to pay all that dough, and you’ve never used Twitter?

How can you advise someone on the merits or pitfalls of using a particular social media platform, when you’re totally unfamiliar with that platform?

Of course, I’m being naive, and most likely an agency like Ogilvy has a cadre of Twitter-o-philes locked away in a basement, fed Twinkies and weed to Tweet like micro-blogging fiends.

So individual ignorance of social media aside, they’ve got their bases covered.

But that’s not the issue.

Any agency that’s so on the cutting egde or any marketing professional worth their spit, should be conversant in (or at least knowledgeable of) the social media tools that their clients can add to their marketing mix.

It’s not like Facebook, Twitter or YouTube just showed up on the scene.

Most of the major players have been around for at least five years.

So if a fad is fleeting, and without permanence, shouldn’t social media really be considered a trend, having withstood the test of time?

And if it’s a trend, shouldn’t it be something they stay up on?

Next thing you know, they’ll be advising their clients to use Fourspring (a current fad among teens) for a LBS-based promotion instead of Foursquare!

I’m just saying.

Nobody is paying me big bucks for my opinion.

And perhaps my panties are in a bunch because I’ve got more social media moxie than many of these so-called marketers I’ve been running into recently.

But I can’t help but be a little flummoxed by the ramifications of it all.

Translation: One of the large advertising agencies should hire me immediately for my brilliance or risk fanning the flames of my simmering ire.


Filed under opinion, rant, Smack talking

7 responses to “Social media is a fad. Really?

  1. Hi Steve,

    I am an Internet Marketer out of New Jersey too and just found your blog. Good stuff!

    I agree with you and this post made me realize that I have neglected the practice as well for myself. Although I am a big proponent of Social Media and have worked on Fan Pages and Twitter for contests, Facebook Ads, starting dialogues, and just overall communication with customers. But, as I look to 2011 I am definitely going to be using these tools myself more to keep my skills as sharp as yours.

    This post also made me think of a video I saw this year which you may or may have not seen, but I am sure you will like:


    • James, thanks for the compliments! It seems like you’re already up on social media, and have at least touched Twitter (even if you may not use it regularly). My point was not that it had to be a part of your daily routine, but regular interaction helps you shape and frame opportunities for your clients, based on your understanding of how the technology works and any advances in it that can be applied to campaigns you develop on their behalf.

      Yes, I am familiar with Socialnomics Social Media Revolution video (the original and the redux), and I’ve shared it with many of my clients as a way to bring them up to speed.

      Keep reading!



  2. Pingback: Do you Hootsuite? | Stephen Chukumba Says

  3. 4VTerror

    I’m a bit naive to the subject I use FB, I do not Twitter or use MySpace. But in my mind that someone can sell or market a product. Make millions from it and yet not use it. That seems almost genius to me, again I’m no expert on the realm. But it reminds me of Biggie’s Ten Crack Commandments. “Never get high on your own supply” Being able to manage a program, company or product is very different than being able to function as a user/customer in my opinion.


  4. Stacy

    Steve… Recently, one of my client’s VP of Marketing announced the very same “I don’t use social networks, and I don’t get it” during their BIG Marketing strategy meeting. I tried my best to suppress my Passaic, NJ/West Indian sarcastic ‘tude, bc all I wanted to say was, “I agree, you don’t get it.” SMH


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