Let’s retire “social media” as a modifier

"Officially Retired Tiara Crown 7-8-09 7" by stevendepolo on Flickr

I think it’s time to consider retiring the term “social media” as a modifier. It’s become the “Internet” in “Internet website,” the “tuna” in “tuna fish,” the “beef” in “beefsteak.”

There’s no such thing, for example, as a “social media crisis.” Crises certainly can be exacerbated by social media, but social media doesn’t cause them. After all, when a TV news broadcast amplifies a crisis, do we refer to it as a “TV crisis”?

There’s no such thing as a “social media community,” either. Sure, some people don’t use social media, but social media adoption is becoming more common every day. It’s no longer special, no longer exclusive. We don’t refer to an “email sending community” or a “phone calling community,” do we?

And by all means, let’s kill the idea of “social media marketing.” Marketing efforts are certainly becoming increasingly dependent upon social media, but they’re likely to be more effective if they’re part of a continuum that includes strategies well beyond social media. The term “social media marketing” also is misleading, responsible in part for the perception that social media is some kind of magic bullet that’s wholly different from regular, old fashioned marketing. Yeah, it’s a little different. But not that different.

Let’s retire it, starting right here on this social media Internet website. Otherwise known as a “blog.”

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2 Responses to Let’s retire “social media” as a modifier

  1. Andy Welfle says:

    This reminds me of my upcoming “small-i ‘internet'” editorial I’m working on! And yes, fully agree. I think that you will celebrate a social media victory with this Internet web log post!

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