Do you know what a hype is? Of course you do. We’ve had quite a few recently. Some were about products, services or ideas that faded away. Others about things that were valuable in their own right, just not as much as the hype whipped it all up to be. So far there has never been a hype that actually delivered.
And there won’t be. Ever.
A hype is a fascinating thing. You can learn things about human psychology and sociology from it. The whole concept of the self-sustaining meme is fascinating. But it is based on a chain-reaction of overvaluation and attention. There is always an initial claim of value that receives an excessive amount of attention, leading to a chain reaction of value-assumption and attention. Sooner or later the hype will be confronted with the demand to actually deliver and will fail to fulfill the unreasonable expectations. They will then be either revalued and used based on rational arguments, or will fade away completely.
Ladies and gentlemen, <strong>social media marketing is a hype</strong>.
The expectations are unreasonable, the potential is seen as unlimited. That alone should tip you off. The tendency to make all things “social” is another clear giveaway. Social is used as a magic formula. There are no magic formula’s. The truth is that human psychology has not changed, and it is very unlikely that it will. (Quite pleased about that, myself)
Successful use of social media is based on insight into the human psyche. That insight is just common sense with some refinements. Social media is a neat tool but without those insights you are flailing in the dark. And the current habit to overvalue the importance of that neat tool is not helping.
Once you realize that social media is nothing more than a nifty new tool, the real work can begin. You need to master it <em>as part of </em>your strategy, not see it as a replacement for it.