How are you feeling about social media these days? Cambridge Analytica, Fake news, dwindling organic reach? Here's what some of your peers think right now…
by Darren Caveney
This year I have been delivering my new Supercharged Social Media workshop around the UK and for in-house communications teams. Over 300 people have taken part so far and it’s been a rare chance to gain an insight into where social media is working (and not working) right now across public sector communications. Although I host the workshops I’ve learned an awful lot in the process.
I begin each session by asking attendees to name their favourite and least favourite social media platforms. It’s a great way to get everyone in the room chatting and sharing. And it reveals fascinating real trends taking place right now about our preferences in social media platforms, both professional and personal. And they are shifting for sure.
It also sparks some venting in the room, and let’s face it we do all love a good vent from time to time.
I thought it would be fun to share some of my favourite, true and entertaining quotes from these workshop introductions...
Pinterest - it's evil
Snapchat – I gave it an hour and then gave up
I have cut right back on social media this year - I only use four (4) social platforms each day now
LinkedIn - it's full of people trying to sell to me
Oh I love LinkedIn - every single job I have ever got was via LinkedIn
I am still unable to tweet from my work phone (sigh)
Having managed a day of abuse on social at work the last thing I want to do is go on social media at night
My manager told me that we MUST be on Pinterest. We knew it wouldn’t work for us and so it proved. I have hated it ever since
I hate Snapchat. And I hate the risks it poses to young people
I can’t stand Instagram. Why do so many people like so many s*#t pictures?
Twitter. It’s really just people showing off
Oh LinkedIn is sooooo boring
I can’t stand Facebook now – it’s full of moaners
I don’t want to know what people have had for breakfast
LinkedIn is full of golfers...
Facebook - they have really disappointed me with their practices
I hate all social media. It’s the work of the devil
Facebook, Twitter, all of them – full of fake news and idiots
Pinterest really annoys me. What’s the point?
Facebook have lied to us too many times – how can we trust them?
LinkedIn? It’s an abomination (that was my favourite)
So what does this all mean…
Is it OK to dislike something but still use it for work benefits? Abso-blooming-lutely. I couldn’t stand the local daily newspaper covering a council area I was head of comms for. I thought it was awful. But did I ‘use it’ if there was a benefit? Of course.
We know that we can spend too much time and money on social media if there isn’t a sound insight-led comms plan sat behind it. We know that vanity metrics and video views are to be taken with a pretty big pinch of salt.
At the same time we know that if a large-scale emergency breaks on our patch then it will be on Twitter in under a minute. The media get a huge slug of their content from Twitter and other channels now. And we know that social media can deliver benefits and opportunities which other channels can’t get near to.
What’s clear is that after 10 years plus of social media in our work the honeymoon is long over and we are beginning to put it in its rightful place in our channel mix. And that has to be a good thing.
Social media has changed the way in which we work as communicators. I still feel it’s largely a force for good. It can be genuinely influencial and it punches above its true weight at times.
But it absolutely needs a plan behind it.
So it’s ok for us to hate certain platforms.
In fact it’s healthy and ensures we are objective in our work.
If you would like me to deliver Supercharged Social Media in house for your team drop me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org
And if it helps you here is my free to down essential comms planning guide featuring an office wall poster and step-by-step guide.
Darren Caveney is creator of comms2point0 and owner of creative communicators ltd
image via Tullio Saba