“Be a little cautious of the social media kool-aid… It does work slowly over time, but if you need to get attention now, you still need to use traditional methods, too. Social media is not a replacement for anything; it’s an add-on, it’s another way of communicating. But don’t leave the other stuff behind, especially if the other stuff works for you still; don’t drop it just because there’s a shiny new object.”
–Christopher Penn, Marketing Over Coffee
Rational, hype-free discussions about social media are difficult to come by, so I was thrilled to discover the Marketing Over Coffee podcast last week, the best of the bunch from the handful I’ve sampled so far, via Lee Oden’s list of Best Podcasts on Social Media. Hosted by John Wall and Christopher Penn, the episodes I’ve listened to so far have been meaty, informative and thought-provoking, and I’ve found myself going through their archives today while doing laundry, as inspired as I was coming out of last week’s Conversational Marketing Summit.
Wall and Penn keep things in perspective by focusing on “both classic and new marketing,” avoiding the social MEdia tendencies of self-promotional, agenda-driven circle jerks that pass for social media “expertise” on blogs, podcasts and Twitter. I’d name names, but it’s easier and far more productive to call out those doing it right.
Among my current favorites for thoughtful marketing insights and commentary are Seth Godin, Geoff Livingston, Jane Friedman, Amanda Chapel and Patrick Boegel. A few others I don’t always agree with but often spark interesting discussions and are willing to engage include Mack Collier, Lauren Fernandez and Olivier Blanchard.
Who are some of your favorites?
On a related note, I’ve stopped updating the social media backlash on my Attack of the Social Media Gurus post, but rest assured that it continues apace, as a series of tweets I posted on Friday and earlier today showed:
- Social media evangelists love hype and loose “metrics” — great for speaking and consulting gigs; lousy long-term strategy. #smfail
- RT @jacobm: msg to all SM consultants, stop coming up with diff bullshit definitions for ROI that have nothing to do w/ $$ #smfail (yes!)
- RT @MackCollier: Check out @griner’s preso on creating a social media strategy: http://is.gd/PhsD (practical, focused, hype-free; kudos!)
- RT @GeoffLiving: Ah yes, so true. Social media is dead. Let the debate begin… http://bit.ly/bsHnS (Dead, or just being redefined?)
- RT @newscientist: Inventor of world wide web says we don’t understand the properties arising from its monstrous size http://bit.ly/UiHRe
- RT @pblackshaw: “Only 7.4 MM out of the 133 MM blogs the company tracks had been updated in the past 120 days.” http://tinyurl.com/lxorso
- notes: “there are 7-10M active blogs, but it’s probably between 50-100k that are generating most of the page views.” — http://bit.ly/aLg66
- social media = indie film: everyone thinks they have an interesting story; 98% are wrong, and most won’t follow through anyway.
There’s no question that social media will play an important role for publishers, marketers and consumers in the months and years ahead, but we all need to be careful about drinking too much of that unnaturally sweet Kool-Aid. Keeping it all in perspective is the key to not giving in to the fool’s gold rush mentality, falling prey to scoundrels selling fake maps, fattening their wallets on the conference circuit by playing upon people’s desire to have a voice and be heard, and traditional marketers’ relative ignorance of the terrain.