Google Analytics

Monday, June 27, 2011

How Much is Too Much?

One of my Facebook friends posted a status update today that got me thinking. She works for a nonprofit and was frustrated by the organization's emphasis on social media, wondering if at some point the work itself needs to take priority over how the work is accessed. She proposed a "technology non-revolution."

I'm of two minds. On one hand, there are definitely aspects of social media that I deliberately avoided - I wasn't on Facebook or Twitter for a while because I am, overall, a private person, and wasn't sure about putting my life on the web. I have read PLENTY of oversharing tweets and status updates, and I am just not that person who's going to tweet (or blog) about my gynecologist appointment (I wish I were making that up), or my family. I knew I wasn't going to put myself on blast, so I wondered "What's the point?" Not realizing, I guess, that I had control over what I put out there, and could comment and post photos and whatnot without putting all my business in the street. My last status update was about how excited I was to hear one of my favorite songs come on over the loudspeaker in Starbucks.

On the other hand, I was delighted when an old friend I haven't seen or heard from since we were 13 friended me on Facebook, and even more delighted to see that she seems to be very happy. (I have had to hide a few oversharing folks, though.) And Twitter has been both fun (the tweets from the Fug Girls are as funny as the blog posts themselves) and informative. I follow companies on Twitter and learn about their upcoming projects and strategies. I was on Twitter when the news of bin Laden's death broke - I follow my local news as well as ABC News, CNN, and Anderson Cooper. I got advice about what bike to buy on Facebook, and get great recipes from the Food and Wine Twitter feed, as well as from my favorite Top Chef contestants (Hootie Hoo, Carla!).

Now, my Facebook friend's status update wasn't maligning social media altogether; just saying that she thought the focus should be on the work itself, rather than how the work is consumed. And without knowing what kind of work her organization does, it's hard to know how effective social media is for her organization in particular. She's certainly not opposed to highlighting the work her group does; she just doesn't want to get so focused on talking about the work that doing the work falls by the wayside. It doesn't do anyone any good to tweet about shoddy work. I don't think anyone will argue with that. In fact, it's a hindrance - if you have a big social media presence and a crappy product, that just means that many people are aware of your crappy product, and have many different public forums to discuss just how crappy your product is.

As a marketer, you kind of have to find social media useful, because it's as much a part of marketing as buying ad space. So it's easy to forget that it can be invasive for people who just use it to stalk their exes, or read what witty thing Wanda Sykes is thinking about at any given moment. Or that people just want to put their heads down and work, and not worry about page views and the number of followers. So I hope that my Facebook friend is able to strike a balance between talking about her work and getting it done to the best of her and her organization's ability.

No comments:

Post a Comment