I’ve made some predictions in the past that I’m sure will piss some people off. The bigger of these being that I don’t believe social media will last in the long run. As we continue to see new apps released and more side projects being promoted in the online space a pattern starts to emerge. More and more the focus is leaning toward experiential based marketing as a way to spread the word about your work and ideas.
The bigger reason for this is because of the way negative information is spread throughout social media. As the owner of a brand that has any sort of larger following you can see a staggering amount of positive feedback about the work you are putting into the world. All at the simple click of a button. This can all come crashing down, however, with just one negative comment. Even if you had 99 people praise you in ways you could have never imagined, that 1 other person who decides to say that your work is crap will have you questioning yourself and what you’re doing. For anyone that has ever put themselves, or their work, out in front of an audience you know exactly what this feeling is like. For those of you who have never experienced this feeling you can stop reading right now until you have tried, and learned, from such an event.
Social media makes it too easy for the negative comments to overwhelm the people who are trying to do their work and make a difference, regardless of how much positive information is there to try and tip the scales. And this is why social media will cave to more experiential forms of marketing.
Life isn’t about reaching as many people as possible; it’s about connecting on a deeper level with the few who need it. The same goes for marketing.
From the outside looking in, it’s easy to get caught up in how many “likes” your page has or how many “followers” you can get. Just because you can make these numbers larger doesn’t mean you’re reaching the correct audience or that you’re somehow a better person for having them.
As Seth Godin said in his latest book, “If it’s so obvious that some have talent and others don’t, why is it so hard to pick the winners and why are we always surprised by the latest unexpected triumph?”