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Viewpoint: The End of Social Media

by Randall Craig on November 8, 2013

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Social Media, Strategy, Viewpoint

Tagged as: , , ,

Here’s a bold prediction: The End of Social Media. Yes, despite the success of the Twitter IPO, and before that, Facebook’s public offering, social media is quickly moving to its end.

Consider the evidence:

Over a billion users on Facebook, and hundreds of millions each on LinkedIn and Twitter. All of these platforms (and others) built directly into both Mac and Windows operating systems. And just about every mobile app has some sort of social connection.

Social media has wormed its way into every facet of our lives: younger people are connecting (and consuming) via Reddit and Snapchat. Gen Xers are checking in on Yelp, Facebook and Foursquare. Grandparents are connecting with their grandchildren in a completely new way on Facebook. And yes, most organizations are “connecting” with clients and prospects.

Contradictory evidence?  Read on.

The end of social media is being caused by its ubiquity. (Almost) a generation ago, the term “e-business” was the stylish term used to describe the new world of engaging with prospects and customers online. Eventually, it became evident that there was no separate e-business: there was only one customer – and there was only one “business”. The online channel was important enough – and ubiquitous enough – that it no longer was considered a tack-on: it was simply … the business.  And it is exactly the same with social media.

To be successful, organizations must recognize this – and many do. The end of social media really means the movement of social media out of the marketing spotlight, and into the fabric of client service, HR, knowledge management, supply chain, investor relations, sales, and operations. It means using collaborative tools internally to cut across organizational silos, improving relationships, efficiency and innovation. And it also means taking advice from experts beyond the single-track experts in ad agencies.

Does the end of social media mean the end of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube? Not by a long shot. But like the telephone, a few generations ago, social media  is transforming how we connect and how we do business.  And in the process it is bringing a spotlight back to the basics of developing, maintaining and improving relationships: something we’ve always known.

Yes, social media is dead. But long live social media.

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Randall Craig

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Randall has been advising on Digital Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of eight books, including Digital Transformation for Associations, the Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business, and Social Media for Business. He speaks and advises on Digital Transformation, Digital Trust, and Social Media. More at

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