27 July 2012

Don't be artisocial

Has artificial social eroded the exponential adoption trajectory of social media and social networking?  It's time to back off artisocial.  And what does this even mean? 

Artificial could be defined as lacking spontaneity or forced and Social as devoted to or characterized by friendly relations; and in the sense of social media and social networking, collaborative and seeking or enjoying the companionship of others.

artificial + social = artisocial and could be defined as unnatural devotion; companionship that was not generated from spontaneity. 

Arguably, some of the best things about the social media and social networking environments, tools and features are their collaborative, crowdsourcing and social propagation components.  Key examples are “like” buttons and hashtags such as #Stampthispostingwithahastagsootherscanfinditeasily.  Artisocial marketing has started to erode these core engaging and likable aspects. The “Like” button works so well because it is juvenile and with the click of a single button one can identify themselves with a brand, idea or concept amongst their social peers.  The insertion of the marketer and that a reward will be given for liking something not only erodes this natural and organic social activity but actually destroys the foundation of being spontaneous and natural.

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Marketer, Please stop asking your customers to “Like” you.  Have you considered that they may not be that valuable to you if they are only liking you because you have asked them to or are giving away a prize?  Please direct them to your product or your social media page and let them “Like” you naturally.

In addition, just because your organization started a blog under the guise of a well respected leader doesn’t mean that some of your intended readers won’t see right through the false figurehead authoring.  Blogging also needs to be real with a real author behind the content in order to produce the desired outcomes.  Otherwise, it is also artisocial and eventually will lose respect.  Make calculated choices about others authoring content for someone else and publishing it through a blog forum or risk wasting a lot of time and energy.

Much of the true success of social media and social networking has been due to the dedication and engagement from the pioneers and social ambassadors having a clear understanding of what social is.  Artisocial may sincerely cripple this.  Don’t be artisocial.

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