The Cluetrain is derailed.
Last Spring Adage pronounced that “There is no more social media marketing: just advertising.” The article announced a new era of #NotReallySocialMediaMarketing and went on to proclaim:
“The idealistic end to business as usual, as “The Cluetrain Manifesto” envisioned, never happened. We didn’t reach the finish line. We didn’t even come close. After a promising start — a glimmer of hope — we’re back to business as usual.”
I love Big Brother
My first social media marketing class was Spring 2012. It was a brand new class – there were no syllabi online to crib, so I built the course fresh with the help of my Twitter friends. I proclaimed that “marketers must drop the megaphone – broadcasting or shouting at customers and prospects is dead! We must engage and have a CONVERSATION.” Our group projects were to work with organizations to show them how to have that conversation….
Tomorrow I will face two new sections of my SMM class. I will talk to them about the ominous and omnipotent Facebook algorithm, social media advertising, and sponsored posts. I require them to be Google AdWord certified. For our group projects we will participate in the Google Marketing Challenge and use AdWords to help organizations with their marketing efforts.
Using AdWords is a valuable skill. Translating that skill to the evolving world of paid posts and social media advertising is challenging and interesting. My social media marketing class will continue to be a vital part of digital marketing and the marketing curriculum.
But I really love Cluetrain
I love the original manifesto! I want to believe in “the conversation” and “content marketing.” We should return to the craft model of having a genuine relationship with our customers. We absolutely should stop shouting and drop the megaphone.
“Organic” communication is so much kinder than paid ads. The idea of a “Like Economy” was really cool.
Just two years ago I warned that Zuckerberg was using the algorithm-formerly-known-as-EdgeRank to kill the Like Economy. At the same time Mark Schaefer noted that even without malignant forces such as Zuck and Facebook, content shock would wreck havoc on organic marketing strategies as audiences were buried in a deluge of information.
Organizations: learn the ins and outs of online and social advertising. A conversation sounds civilized, but you have to reach your audience.
Wishing doesn’t make it so… The Cluetrain is off the tracks!