There are no shortage of intelligent and visionary social media celebrities. They write great books about markets, social media tools, strategies, and on-line reputation for the benefit of the millions of people stuck on any part of the slippery social media learning curve. They are infinitely generous with their knowledge and share it freely at countless conferences, blog posts, and syndicated articles.
There is, however, one thing that most of these Guru’s have in common – they consult to and are paid by large corporations. I could be considered part of this crowd for whatever my influence is worth. So the question about causation is due – will social media develop as a function of corporate interaction with it?
If so, then it is not social media – it is corporate media.
This is no surprise, nor should there be any apparent concern, after all, everyone has to make a living and it is better that the corporations pay people to create content that benefits me. The practice is conducted quite ethically too -most readily disclose where their financial support comes from and we all benefit from free information that helps us keep the playing field as level as it can be.
But at the end of the day, it’s all about eye-balls and bullhorns. In order to produce eyeballs and bullhorns, people must be sitting at a computer or, at least, staring at a handset. The longer you can keep people interacting with the brand instead of interacting with each other, the better off everyone is, right?
Social Media Consumer Advocate
A consumer advocate is someone who helps look after the best interest of the consumer for product safety and false advertising. Social media is pushing the envelope of the corporate interaction with consumers. “Advertising” no longer lends itself to the objective review of a billboard, commercial, or public statement. Social Media Marketing is increasingly sophisticated and manipulative. The vulnerable people; children and elders are no less vulnerable on social media, and may be more.
Some of the emerging research related to social media is surprising with increased instances of what can be considered social anomalies:
– Infantilism; adults doing childish things like playing silly games in ‘public’
– Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; constantly checking for updates and new photos,
– Depression and loneliness; preference of social media over real live interaction
– Narcissism; The excessive love or admiration of one’s image of their self.
Is it social because it is media or is it media because it is social?
We need to ask ourselves what is the difference between computer enabled reality and computer simulated reality. If we lose “causation” the entire body of analysis can be called into the question: is social media or is it corporate media?