Here at The Ketel One Executive Center of The Ad Contrarian Global Headquarters, we've been saying for some time that:
a) The delusion of social media marketing is rapidly evaporating
b) Social media sites are morphing into channels for carrying traditional paid advertising as fast as they possibly canThere are three reasons for this
1) Consumers have shown approximately zero interest in having "conversations about brands"
2) Consumers have shown approximately zero interest in having "conversations about brands"
3) Did I mention that consumers have shown approximately zero interest in having "conversations about brands?"If you need proof of this, click on over to your Facebook page and see if you can find a conversation about a brand. What you'll find is a festival of paid advertising.
While the dim bulbs in the marketing industry spent 5 years exhorting us to "join the conversation" actual human beings were thinking "what fucking conversation?"
So the lovely fantasy of consumers carrying our marketing water for us by going online to extol the virtues of our mittens, mayonnaise, and motor oil has gone all sour.
Facebook saw the light and stopped pretending to be a vehicle for social media marketing. They became a born-again old-school paid advertising channel. As one Facebook executive put it to Time magazine...
“…if businesses want to make sure that people see their content the best strategy is, and always has been, paid advertising.”If I may take the liberty of translating the above sentence, here's what the Facebook guy was trying to say:
"We can't make a nickel off this social media bullshit, but we can have a nice juicy steak dinner selling some good ol' fashioned paid ads."Of course Facebook's rival, Twitter, is drooling.
Having seen what Facebook's stock price did once Facebook stopped living in new-age never-never-land and started seriously selling real ads, Twitter wants a slice.
But first they have to figure out how to convince people -- especially marketers and investors -- that they are not what they said they were.
The problem is that marketers and investors love the idea of social media but hate the reality of it. They want to see real money from real ad sales. Not hot air about "conversations."
And so Twitter is now on a mission to convince the world that they are not really a social network.
According to The Wall Street Journal last week...
"Executives hope to shift the perception of Twitter from a social network to a broadcast platform"A broadcast platform? But hold it. Isn't broadcast dead?
The only question now is how long it will take the cement-heads in agencies and marketing departments -- who are still gorging on empty calories at the social media buffet -- to figure out what the hell is going on.