Social Media is a real Catch 22

Monday, May 14, 2012 by Ed Mead

Social Media……the Catch 22 is that in businesses that think they need it the bosses probably feel it’s for their kids, and those young enough to understand and use it probably couldn’t give a toss about the sort of businesses that could benefit from it. Symposiums on the subject are sold out but again those who need to know often have the attention span of a gnat, and their IT guys are so busy updating software weekly that somehow it keeps falling off the list.

I’ve written before about how much old fashioned estate agency created proper estate agents who knew their markets and could genuinely guide buyers towards what they needed, not what they thought they wanted. The trouble is the average age of those interested in property is now so old that are we sure they really want to be electronically bombarded with emails, Facebook messages and Tweets when in fact they’ve probably learnt enough about life to finally be treated as a human and not a name on a computer.

I’m still confused with how FB works, I’ll admit I don’t have an account as cynically I’m convinced anyone my age on FB is trying to have an affair, but why do advertisers on TV put their FB addresses all over their ads. If this is really the way businesses want to communicate then surely the expression Social Media is an oxymoron. Simply substitute the word advertising for media and you surely have a recipe for turning younger people off, or are they really that gullible.

Twitter users are likewise known for their dislike of being sold to and any estate agent simply tweeting their instructions can happily carry on as far as I’m concerned, it’ll be putting people off.

It seems to me that this whole social media thing, and I talk as one of the older people with the attention span of a gnat, is designed to put your image across and make you seem more human, and understandable, to a generation of people who seem to have lost the ability to write, talk or more importantly, listen. I must be wrong because the nerd that started FB appears to be about to earn enough dollars to carpet the Earth in his IPO, but my instinct tells me many people have had enough and want what we used to have but are afraid of not keeping up.

I’m aware that many companies use their Twitter and FB accounts to give a picture of what they’re like but I do have a fear of ending up in a society that constantly interrupts what is an integral part of the enjoyment of living and communicating with hideous Blade Runner or Minority Report style advertising.

Maybe we’ve gone too far down the road but if you really want to know about an area, or business for that matter, talk to someone who knows it. Face to face if possible as you’ll find out far more from watching them as they talk, or at least listening to the timbre of their voice, than simply reading one dimensional blurb on a website.