I saw it going on and tried to look the other way. I turned a blind-eye to it to for months. I tried to play nice in the sand box and “get along”, you know not “Rock the Boat”. But I’m done with that. There is something going on with many Social Media professionals, be it the in-house Social Media department or the 3rd party Social Media agency, that I don’t like. I’m not sure that the clients or supervisors of those Social Media professionals even know that there is a problem.
The problem comes down to metrics. Everyone is trying to come up with success metrics to “show value” and justify the investment in Social Media. Likes, Follows, Comments, Sentiment, etc. seem to be the focus. These goals are channel specific and all of those channels are external ones that don’t reside on the companies websites. On Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, etc engagement seems to the be term bandied about the most for measuring “success”. The ideal being getting people into an “Engagement Funnel” just like websites have a conversion, lead or sales funnel.
Engagement it seems is a never ending goal. It requires keeping people on those channels, and getting them to either stay there or have them continually coming back for more. It’s kind of like a gambling casino. The longer the casino keeps the gamblers at the table the more likely it is that the casino makes money. Casinos never want you to walk away from the gambling tables and in much the same way this is the goal with some the Social Media managers of some of these channels.
Some might not see the problem in this at all. But here’s the real problem with it. All of those engagement practices to keep people on those channels like Facebook Fan pages are often intentionally doing so at the expense of getting those engaged visitors to visit the actual websites where sales, leads and conversions for businesses actually come from. Stop to think about it. Does your Social Media on channels like Facebook or YouTube exist to support your website, or does it exist solely as a channel to foster discussions on those channels?