Is Social Media Overrated? With @ChiefKMasimba

The article below originally appeared on Chief K Masimba’s LinkedIn profile.

I really enjoyed the way he looked at this. Especially because we are sold the dream of extensive reach in terms of social media and social media marketing.

There is a lot of work to be done, and though at some point it was as easy as ABC, nowaways some level of financial investment is needed for good social media campaigns.



You can follow the author on Twitter @ChiefkMasimba

I am fan of social media and I admit I have for long swooned over its promise to initiate both interaction and engagement at low cost. I have certainly reconnected with long lost friends via social networking. I literally drool over social media profiles and pages that have huge followings and high engagement rates. I guess it’s a state of cognitive dissonance of some sort.

More and more I am finding myself always cringing when people speak of social media as if it were some kind of silver bullet that will once and for all help one to get their message out (or is it to create a conversation). Reaching the billions of users on the various social media platforms is not as easy as it is made to seem; it can be like trying to run backwards up a mountain.

I’m increasingly convinced that social media is rather overrated as everything gets overtaken by cash. Granted there are people and organisations that have achieved results courtesy of social media but just because that is the case it doesn’t necessarily translate into a gospel truth for the rest of us all.

The potential of social media to facilitate real engagement is highly hyperbolized, with postings largely benefiting the social media companies. I have this uncanny feeling that every time I make a post of social media it is immediately recorded as an egg in the chest of stock exchange listed social media behemoths.

I am convinced that social media users now play second fiddle to shareholders especially in the aftermath of stock exchange listings. All the promises of the beginning of promoting greater connections and interactions have fizzled in the face of dollar driven imperatives.

Algorithms have been changed to suit dollar driven motives but we are still sold the dummy that social will somehow create the magic of connection if you post consistently and constantly. Truth of the matter is organic reach of posts is next to zero. All efforts at creating interesting content can amount to nothing because social media companies now expect you to fork out money to reach audiences.

Ultimately, we don’t really own our profiles on social media; features can be changes at the whim of the true owners of the platforms. We spend time and energy building levels of engagement on social media channels yet we are easily expendable in the wider context of humongous social media platforms.

I’m not ditching social media just yet. But fact of the matter is I just don’t buy the hype no more. We need a more a critical approach to making the most of social media rather than the dummy that has been sold to us for far too long. I will be happy to hear what your experience of social media has been and whether it has fully met your expectations.



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