(read this story about photogs should write more. So here goes,…) Just finished reading this on my Kobo ($11) and I have to say I found it quite illuminating. Basically dispelling any notion that social media is the magic bullet to success, the author picks apart some of the social media “sucess stories” to discover that most of the success usually comes from a few basic things like good PR, access to the traditional media, and in many cases luck. While I was reading the book I was remind about this article over on Conscientious “Into the Social-Media Abyss” talks about how all this Social media stuff might not add up to a hill of beans also really struck home for me. Of course using the metaphor of the Cold War Arms Race made it all too apparent to me that just like that race, this one will have no clear winner and plenty of losers. Another great article by the same author has a few great bits:“…Things have become so bizarre by now that often clicking on a Twitter link takes you to a Tumblr page linking to some other site linking to… (You might know the same game from Facebook or Google+) What’s the point of posting the same stuff on five, six, seven different sites? Social-networking theory aside: Shouldn’t we be taking pictures? Isn’t photography about photographs and not about promoting the crap out of photographs? “
All this reading has really forced me to look hard at the real results behind my social media efforts. While many parts of the social landscape seems worth the investment of time, other areas don’t seem to pay off as much as you’d think. Part of the point the book is making is that social media on it’s own won’t amount to much. The only people making money solely with social media are the social media experts. Investment into social media is only a small part of the equation, you need to invest time money and energy in all the “tradition” ways of marketing. What those are, depends on what kind of business you’re in. Now don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy spending sharing my likes on Facebook or posting images on my blog or sharing my behind the scenes experiences on Twitter. I think all those things have managed to offer up a view of myself that has managed to interest a few people to search me out for work. But when I look hard, like really hard at it, the ROI isn’t there. I am scheduled in November to speak at ACI Manitoba on the subject of social media and relate my experience. I will continue to look hard and critical at my time spent in social media in hopes of offering an honest view.