Social media is dead

Tyler HurstBlog27 Comments

Social media is dead. Not dead as in it’s going to stop being relevant tomorrow, but dead as in it’s not going to grow anymore. We’ve reached our limit. Facebook is huge. Time spent on Twitter is huge. Everyone who wants a blog has one. The Millennials and whatever generation that came after them don’t even have a blog or a podcast, they just text.

New players won’t emerge. Add ons (like Ping) are likely, but seem to be poor at driving any connection, let alone commerce. Does social even equal sales?

Get off my lawn, late adopters!

Collectively, we’re just not interesting. It’s really, really hard to stand out when everyone is saying the same thing. Everything is an aggregator for something else, even every link in the chain dilutes the message a little bit more.

Did you know that brands aren’t social? They’ve never been. People are, but show me a brand that values their employees more than the value their shareholders or bottom line.

It was bound to happen. Just like the web started out as another world with Netizens, Netiquette and a host of other cultural expectations and evolved (or devolved) into a virtual commerce network, so has social media.

Quick, name someone who’s famous now that wasn’t before Twitter and Facebook became popular. Hell, tell me the name of the guy who writes the @shitmydadsays Twitter account. No, it’s not Ashton Kutcher or Conan O’Brien.

If you’re a business who’s relying on sheer number of followers to gain business, who thinks engagement means nothing more than click-throughs or page views or thinks that people really want to interact with your brand, please stop. Stop and think about what that actually means. Stop and think if your tactics would even work on someone like you. No? Didn’t think so.

If you want to stand out, if you want to grow and if you want to earn trust, your business must have a story worth telling. Stories spread. Word of mouth gets recommendations. Followers and clicks don’t mean a damn thing.

Social media, as we know it, is dead. So what’s next?

Tyler HurstSocial media is dead

27 Comments on “Social media is dead”

  1. Bob

    Awesome man, you hit the nail on the head. Social Media Marketing is a gimmick. You know I stopped watching TV and went to the web because all the TV had was ads being bombarded to me left and right. TV was nothing buy a giant spam like email spam. Broadcast meaningless and worthless ads to hundreds of millions and hope a few of them like it, exactly like email spam. On the web I could easily ignore the ads on google properties and simply avoided all the stupid banner ad filled website through pop-up blockers

  2. Adrian McMillan

    What’s next? Closing the gap of transparency. Everyone will start to close up shop and go back into their caves because they feel strangers know too much about them.

    Businesses will also realize that there’s no revenue in social media, after they’ve spent hundreds/thousands or more for nothing.

    All in good business, I guess.

  3. Corey Nagle

    I think “millenials” are blogging now more than ever. It’s the new crop that just texting away. Unfortunately, I think these are the ones that are trying to establish the rules in social media so that if you’re not doing the same as them, you’re doing it wrong. They see FB/Twitter/etc. as the end to the means, instead another tool to be used at your disposal. That said, I think there’s a large rift between the Gen Y’ers who don’t see eye to eye on most things, let alone the use of/state of social media. Go read these their blogs. I don’t get where half of them are coming from, and these people are supposed to be in my age group. Whatever that means.

    1. tdhurst

      Like the Netizens before us, the early adopters used social media in the exact same way they used any “real-life” communication. It was the second set, and all subsequent ones (which includes people of all ages) that tried to define it in order to either a) rule or b) get rich.

      And that’s well and good, but it tainted the experience of many. That’s what is dead.

  4. Nick Lawhead

    As you point out, Facebook and Twitter are huge. To your point, some of this is hype, bandwagoning, etc. So I agree there. But I think your last paragraph helps to define how/why social media continues to grow. Storytelling is part of human nature, and these tools make it easier to tell that story. They’ve become part of the story. Sure, bullhorn style “CLICK THIS LINK TO GET 200 NEW FOLLOWERS” will die, but social media as I define it – essentially connecting with people online to network, share ideas, learn – will not die any time soon. It is the evolution of communication.


    1. tdhurst

      I agree with you, but social media for the masses doesn’t exist the way you and I would define it. If it did, we wouldn’t have celebs with millions of followers, brands repeatedly trying to sell and a host of political propaganda.

      The definition of social media has changed for MOST people. Those of us who use it well will continue to do so, but only because we never needed to define it or develop a strategy or work on a policy. We just used it as an efficient communication device.

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  6. HireChelsea

    I think people forget that the best clients are the ones they already have. I see businesses struggling to get “New Business” while they are focused on that, they abandon the clients they have right now. You, know the ones paying the bills.

    If you do good work it shows. People remember you and when they need your services, you’re going to be the first person they think of. Every client I currently have, I didn’t have to go out and find. They found me through a piece of work they remembered or a friend that referred them.

    I think the value in Social Media pays off through being memorable and publishing interesting content. But more so in monitoring existing customer “happiness”. It’s not about what you’re saying, it’s about listening to what other people saying. Social Media is voice, an outlet that’s screaming for someone, anyone to listen. So if you’re a business, shut up and listen. Maybe you will get more out of it then you think.

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  8. Ken Peters

    Great branding has always been social. For instance…

    Apple created a new social aspect of their branding when they allowed people to build and sell apps through their App Store. The consumer became an active participant in not only interacting with the brand, but shaping it. Even so, Apple still maintains a high degree of control because they have a set of strict app development standards.

    Starbucks doesn’t just sell coffee. They sell a social experience centered around coffee.

    Harley Davidson Motorcycles sells the social experience of Harley ownership, which is unlike any other motorcycle ownership experience in the world. Harley owners are a critical aspect of the brand, shaping it and perpetuating it. Harley Davidson goes to great pains to interact with their consumers directly, drawing inspiration from them and their ideas.

    What’s relevant is not that people are interacting with the brands themselves (which they are, of course) but more importantly that the brands have created social mechanisms for people to interact with each other. It’s the tribe concept. People gravitate toward like minds. The brands provide a backdrop.

    1. tdhurst

      You’re right, but I think you already knew that. So what happens when the thrill is gone? How long will people keep driving through Starbucks if they don’t get a piece of Americana while sipping a drink inside?

      Or are they too hooked to care by then?

      1. Ken Peters

        Well, that’s the business of branding. You have to keep people interested and giving them a reason to come back. And, that’s where the social aspect takes on a different importance. If you are socially engaged with consumers, if you start with the experience they have with your product and services, and continue to design outward to meet their needs (even anticipate their needs) then you’ll continue to succeed.

        Branding is a conversation. The more mediums you give yourself to receive the messages your consumers are sending the better off you’ll be.

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  11. Socialmediastartup

    What’s dead is traditional media like newspapers, magazines and books. While social networks may near capacity in terms of users, social media in terms of $ spent by companies on advertising and promotion is rising and will continue to grow. Nice try with the FOXTV like headline.

    1. tdhurst

      Dead means that the early adopters are no longer tinkering and improving and it’s time to see how the rest of the world will use them.

      Nice try with the pseudo insult and the outdated email address.

  12. NW Media

    You’re right on the money, Tyler.  I’ve been saying that for quite some time now, however, you’ve got to realize it’s still amateur hour out there for most people. 

  13. Anonymous

    So are you ready to eat your words yet?

    Have you read ComScore’s December 2011 report?

    “The importance of social networking in today’s online experience cannot be overstated. Social networking is the most popular online activity worldwide accounting for nearly 1 in every 5 minutes spent online in October 2011, and reaches 82 percent of the world’s Internet population, representing 1.2 billion users around the globe.” 

    Facebook alone went from 500k to 800k+ users in 2011 so 60% growth in the 7th year is far from dying.

    1. tdhurst

      Dead in this sense means no longer evolving. Twitter, Facebook, even g+ have been the same for years.
      Tv is dead too, yet people still watch it. And I don’t give a shit about the Comscore of anything.
      Tyler Hurst | 602.614.4137

      1. Anonymous

        Playing with semantics will get you nowhere, they are evolving. Facebook launched two major changes in just the last 2 months. G+ has been the same for years? They launched less than 6 months ago.

        But now I have the confirmation I needed that your website/blog/twitter is useless. Not many people would “give a shit” about the opinion of a guy who makes blanket, uniformed statements and “doesn’t give a shit” about actual research findings.

        You’ve exposed yourself for what you really are, running affiliated websites – not offering valuable contetn. Now you can post a sarcastic witty reply, and go back to watching the FOX network.

  14. seo chat board

     I am so right there with you. I am a freelance SEO with many clients and i tell them all you wan’t to mess with those idiotic websites go right ahead, but count me out your on your own. Those websites will not do anything for you they are of no use at all really.

    it’s sad most people out there do not understand how huge the web is and how many other much more amazing websites and forums, interactive communities and features, and all sorts of goodies out there.

    i am already so tired of hearing about google + and everything about them. i moved to my own email server removed everything having to do with any of these websites a while ago

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