Are You Missing The “Social” Part Of Social Media?

Okay, I get it. Twitter and Facebook can be used for business purposes. LinkedIn is supposed to be for business purposes. I know because I use them for business as well.

Social Me In 2021

Not that often, but obviously I do. Every blog post I write shows up on Twitter multiple times. Here and there I share something from one of my blogs in my Facebook blogging group. On LinkedIn I not only share blog posts but some of my business videos; lately they seem to be doing a lot better than before.

True, money can potentially be made from all of these sources. But is that the only thing people can think of to do with them?

One of my many gripes about Twitter is that a lot of people who follow me there only post promotional stuff all day and night. Many of them have never talked to anyone… not that I’ve seen in any case. Every new person I see has followed me, I check out their profile and, if need be, will go back upwards of a month to see if they engaged anyone in conversation; retweets don’t count as actually talking to someone.

Is it too much to ask for people to try to be social at least some of the time while they’re using social media? That’s what Twitter was originally created for. That’s what Facebook was initially created for.

LinkedIn… even though it was originally geared towards business, often had conversations, though related to business topics. It’s gone a bit over the top lately in these politically and socially fractured times in America, to the point that there’s really no conversation there either, just a lot of fighting and backbiting, though we get a semblance of civility here and there.

Facebook is the most social site I participate in, but it’s also the most controversial. There are close to 2 billion profiles, many of them fake, and there are always accusations of one thing or another regarding privacy and supposed suppression of thoughts, which I totally dispute:

I saw an article where a commenter wrote that people have no right to tell others how to use social media, and that if all he wants to do is use it to market his services and products that’s his right. I don’t dispute that, though I hate it. What’s also people’s right is to be able to find a balance between being able to just talk to people and occasionally seeing something that they might be interested in that might also be an ad.

Over the years, I’d have to say I’ve gotten stricter in determining who I’m following when it comes to topics I like talking and reading about. I see a lot of topics and titles I’ve seen over the last 10 years or so; I’m looking for a bit of originality; I’m also looking for a bit more conversation.

I don’t want to have to visit a site, then put my name and email address in to find out what something is about. Nope, not falling for that anymore; been on the internet way too long. I don’t sign up for anything ahead of time, even the ability to read something, before knowing whether I’m going to be interested in what the writer has to say. That’s why I run Firefox with javascript disabled. I miss a lot of stuff but I also see a lot of stuff; firewalls don’t always stop me… don’t tell anyone about that. lol

Here’s an odd truth. Over the last couple of months there’s been a lot of vitriol in America that’s been disturbing. It eventually led to homegrown terrorists breaking into the U.S. Capitol building and threatening to harm, in some way, our elected officials. That was scary, and brought a lot of people back to earth, and it’s nothing to applaud in any way.

Yet, what it generated was a lot more general conversation amongst people. You still saw a lot of marketing stuff, but more of those people were talking to each other because of the sheer shock of the event.

Is it going to take things like that on a regular basis to get people to talk more on social media sites? Goodness, I hope not! Though I’m not always hesitant to share my opinion on a current event, I’m not predisposed to live my life talking about political science topics for the rest of my life; heck, I never took a poli sci class in college!

I’m back under 1,000 people I’m following on Twitter because a lot of people left and those taking their place don’t talk much. I’ve also reduced my footprint on both LinkedIn and Facebook. I don’t mind marketing, but I also believe engagement is necessary to help make people comfortable with us. If they’re not, it’s their right to get away from us, and ours to get away from them, but it’s better to know what we’re dealing with, isn’t it?

Y’all let me know; I’ll be right here. 🙂

12 thoughts on “Are You Missing The “Social” Part Of Social Media?”

  1. Hi Mitch,
    Engagement is the key on social media. I like to engage with others on Facebook. I’m there to socialize and belong to several groups I’m interested in – not only business.
    Indeed, there is a lot going on with FB and people are getting annoyed and leaving. But I’ve made so many friends in the past 10 years on that platform, I’m staying.
    Yes, I do business there too, but I like to follow the 90/10 rule of being social 90% of the time and 10% of the time I can place an ad.
    As for Twitter…I can never seem to get the hang of it. I like to reply and socialize there, but I’m still plugging at it.

    1. Hey Donna! I have my marketing routine for Twitter that I’ve used for many years and written about a few times. It takes a bit of dedication to the process, but in the last year I decided that if there are days I’m not in the mood to do it then it’s not a big loss. True, being self employed is dicey in this day and age, but I also need sleep and a little bit of rest here and there because of Mom.

      I’m lucky that for the most part I get to be almost totally social on Facebook (now that you know who’s gone lol), and I’m around a 50% mix on Twitter, but I think over the coming weeks I’ll be back to 75% social. LinkedIn… totally different animal, but if it can be more business than ancillary things, I won’t be mad.

  2. Mitch, I’m with you on it all becoming too political. I’ve stopped posting on Twitter and personal FB for over 3 weeks because of it and the censorship. Tired of it all. And I manage it for business!
    Clients are asking me for options and I’m exploring them.
    I think blog commenting is making a big comeback too 🙂
    Time spent on FB dropped in December. Their earnings come out shortly, should be interesting. I don’t know where it’s all going or heading but I’m telling clients to hang on for now and explore future options for marketing.
    Social media used to be fun Mitch. I do miss those days!

    1. Hey Lisa! I have to admit I don’t see any censorship; I covered my position on that topic in the video I shared here. Even with that, what I still see are a lot of people on Twitter not even trying to have a conversation; too much marketing, too much posturing… nothing gets done that way.

      Yet I’m still on Twitter a couple of times a day. Even though I don’t want to “only” see marketing, promoting myself is a part of my business, and in reality it’s the only social media site where I can consistently post my content. Yet there’s still time to talk to others, which I do daily, some of those people rarely but it’s still nice to connect. We can always block the stuff and people we don’t want to see; I do that on a regular basis on all of social media, and I feel good afterwards.

      Overall, social media’s what we make of it, but it’s definitely not for everyone.

  3. I am not at all active in Linkedin and moderately active in Facebook. My problem is the high volume of traffic in WhatsApp now being diverted to Signal. I am trying to reduce it without much success.

    1. I refuse to use WhatsApp, and I’m serious about saying if they actually go through with adding it to Instagram I’m shutting down that account because I don’t want something else forced onto my smartphone. I don’t even have Facebook on there, let alone Messenger. I don’t know what Signal is, but it looks like I’ll need to find out so I’m not looking stupid. lol

  4. For the past few weeks, I’ve been guilty of letting my promotional tweets run without much ‘interactions’ on my part. I thought I would be better at adjusting back to school, but I guess having a mix of both zoom and physical classes is taking its toll.

    That said, I agree with you, and I hate it when social media becomes a cascade of promotional tweets. When I started scheduling tweets, I told myself that I would tweet daily, and I did over winter break. Now, though… I’m feeling horrible that I’ve allowed myself to slip the past three weeks.

    Hope I’ll snap out of it and pop by to make my profile seem less mechanical. Thanks for this blog post, Mitch. I really needed it!

    1. Hey Ming! There’s nothing saying you have to do it on a daily basis. I have periods where I disappear for a few days. But there should be time for a bit of engagement; otherwise it’s not really social media, is it? Above all, business still comes first; get that doctorate, then come back! 😀

  5. Hey Mitch,
    I’m using Twitter for promoting my content but I also love to have conversations there just as much as I always did. I also check for trending news on Twitter because it’s so much easier for me to avoid clicking on topics I don’t care about — or just don’t want to consume. On Facebook I stay focused on the groups I belong to or on my pages — that’s it. I stopped scrolling through the new feed on Facebook ages ago.
    I’m starting to use LinkedIn and I was really happy to see that they added Stories!!!
    I spend more time on YouTube these days and I love engaging in the chat during live streams (I hang out with a lot of live streamers on all the platforms) and in the comment section of my own videos as well as others. I think most people take the social aspect of YouTube for granted but I love it.
    By the way – I’m sure you heard about Clubhouse! I know it’s coming to Android soon but for now it’s iOS only. I’m enjoying it for now at least.

    1. Great stuff Ileane. I’ve thought about trying a live stream, but I think I’d be totally alone. lol I have my best conversations on Twitter, which makes sense because that’s what it was created for.

      I don’t do stories of reels or any of those other things. It feels phony most of the time, so if I decide I want to do a quick live video I do it on my phone and upload it since Instagram has stopped letting you record like they used to. You know me, quite the contrarian.

      I never heard of Clubhouse until a couple of weeks ago. I’m on Lunchclub, but I’ve never used it. I wouldn’t use any of these things on my phone because, once again being contrary, but we’ll see how it goes as time moves on.

  6. I am actually noticing people are being a lot more social on social media especially FB well the ones who have not decided to leave yet because of censorship concerns.

    A lot of people have been stuck at home for the past year due to covid so social media is becoming more and more of a crutch for more people to pass time to catch up with friends, family, and discuss the political aspect of what is going on in the World these days.

    Just thought I would put in my 2 cents.

    1. I’m not totally sure what I’m seeing Jay. I don’t see much concerning sales on FB, but it seems that things have quieted down since the orange guy left town. It’s getting to be more civil at least; I’ll take that. There are also lots of other choices like Zoom and something I just heard about called Clubhouse.

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