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BLOGViewpoint: The End of Social Media

by Randall CraigFiled in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Social Media, Strategy, ViewpointTagged 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, and after that, the fight over TikTok, the initial promise of 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) connected into every Mac and Windows computer, and in every mobile app.

Social media has wormed its way into every facet of our lives: younger people are connecting (and consuming) via TikTok, Instagram, Reddit and Snapchat. Gen Xers are checking in on Yelp, Facebook and other programs. 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.


The one thing that WILL kill Social Media, however, is the rapidly diminishing trust that people have.  People are being creeped out by the tracking, and are fast coming to the realization that the social media sites are really just third-party data platforms who buy and sell your information, invisibly, with impunity.  This week, consider the challenge for your organization: the importance of building collaborative relationships and partnerships, internally and externally.  While at the same time recognizing that Trust is the foundational underpinning of any relationships – and it can’t be squandered.

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