2011 – The Year of The Social Media ‘Meh’

The year 2011 is drawing to a close, a cold, wet and windy close. As I sit by the fire contemplating the past year, I can’t help but think it has been a bit ‘meh’ in a social media sense. Why? Let me break it down for you.

Hype came, and hype went…

At the turn of the year, Quora was all the rage. The next Twitter! The sum of all knowledge! Well really I think everyone was just looking for a bone to chew on during the bleak month of January. Yeah, it does what it does pretty well, but I’m not sure it has really cracked the mainstream. The past year has seen many things getting the tech community whipped up into a real frenzy, Path came along and was a ‘real threat to Facebook’. It re-emerged in the past couple of weeks after a ‘pivot’ (buzz word of the year anyone?) and again has every blog up and down the land writing it up as the next social network monster in a bid to secure hits and links. What social presence or app has really cracked it this year? Instagram has built a strong user base and only on one mobile platform. Really one to watch grow in 2012.

Blogging standards slipped…

The quality of social media and digital marketing blogging took  a real nose-dive in the past year. I have rarely been blown away by anything I have read. I’ve been less inclined to comment on posts, which is a strong barometer in my book. For me, too many blogs are just outlets for the same news, regurgitated and spat out across the web. Facebook makes a tiny change and blogs across the globe report it as is if we just found life on Mars. Original content and the thoughts and opinions that go along with it has dwindled. Come on people, find the voice again and start using blogging as the powerful tool we know it all can be.

Social media and cats. Meh.

Facebook continued to smash it…

It gets bigger and bigger, and no-one can stop it. Google+ landed and every man and his dog started to put it up against Facebook. I’m not even sure the guys at Google want it to be the next Facebook, surely there are other things to aim for in life? Let Facebook be Facebook and hope that G+ (or something else) can offer a viable alternative for those who wish to share and converse without having to sift through a bunch of chumps whinging about their jobs, their wives and how hungry they are. The fact is that Facebook is a behemoth, it is present in our lives at every corner. As the ‘Open Graph‘ continues to develop and the world gets their Timelines (a bit like waiting for hoverboards?), the Facebook dominance will only grow. Nothing out there is going to stop it.

Location didn’t really take off…

Location based marketing. The next frontier of digital marketing. Really? Well it just kind of skittered along like wet fart in 2011. Yes, Foursquare has 15 million users, but you can hardly call that huge in this day and age. The majority of deals that get sent your way via the various apps suck. No real pull for the user equals no real potential for growth. When Facebook started pushing its Places offering (now defunct), the world started checking in everywhere they went, making life seem really, really mundane. Zuckerburg and co have now bought check-in minion Gowalla and appear to want to shut it down in January 2012. Will 2012 see location really push things forward? I’m not so sure, it may take Facebook to re-ignite it.

People still have social media tunnel vision… 

IT’S JUST ANOTHER DIGITAL MARKETING CHANNEL! STOP USING IT FOR THE SAKE OF USING IT OR MONUMENTAL AMOUNTS OF FLUFFY BABY BUNNIES ARE GOING TO BE CAUGHT UP IN A BURNING HOT TREACLE INCIDENT.

Social media muppets continued to hide behind the ‘you can’t prove ROI’ excuse…

The use of social media can absolutely, well and truly be measured and if anyone tells you differently, you need to look elsewhere for guidance. That said, if you are not setting up your campaigns and strategies correctly, it can be hard to prove. Take the time to learn how to do it and things will work out a whole lot better. Don’t be a phantom.

On a positive note…

Social media has amplified the voice of many long suffering people in the past year and that is a real thing of beauty. Social really is a great facilitator of change.

Baa humbug?

I am being a real miser? Was it an incredible year for the social media world? What got your juices flowing? Do share and do argue.

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