Social-Media-as-Savior Syndrome

June 09, 2011

Posted in Marketing, Social Media, and Web Industry.

New term, you heard it here first.

SMASS: Social-Media-as-Savior Syndrome.

A few weeks ago I wrote about a return to business fundamentals and away from the eager puppy focus that many of our colleagues have to social media.

Then I presented to a group of marketing professionals at “social media club” and told them Social Media is a Waste of Time.

I’m not the only one saying this, of course.

Peter Shankman writes in Business Insider:

Social media is not “cool.” MAKING MONEY IS COOL. Social media is simply another arrow in the quiver of marketing, and that quiver is designed to GENERATE REVENUE.

And here’s Jay Baer, who’s saying much the same thing, though he’s also defending the social media industry as still maturing but has value:

“It just means that there are a variety of sophistication levels in the social media services business, the same way there are levels of sophistication in accounting, law, plumbing, auto repair, psychiatry, plastic surgery, tattoo application, and almost any other service.”

All of this reminds me of a great quote for which I have no source:

“Communications is like marketing, but with no accountability.”

Maybe it’s time we start thinking about social media in this context, and asking ourselves if we’re marketing or just “communicating.”


  1. Julia Myers — June 10, 2011

    If you think social media is a waste of time, why then do you bother to write a blog??

  2. Chas Grundy — June 11, 2011

    @julie – It’s definitely not a waste of time. I put stock in strategic marketing, not whack-a-mole tactics. It doesn’t matter if it’s social media, mobile, television, or direct mail – if it’s not driven by strategy (goals, audience insights, measurement, etc.) then you’re shooting in the dark. And no matter which tactic it is, I advise against starting in it. It just happens that social media, mobile, location-based services, etc. are sexy and new. But they’re not exempt from the fundamentals of marketing (and business).