When I saw a tweet about this day on Thursday 30 June, 2022, my reaction initially was, oh no not another social media marketing ploy.
I then reflected a little and I remember how excited I was when Facebook came about and how even more excited I was when Twitter emerged. I hadn’t even considered LinkedIn properly and over time I did like LinkedIn the best, because of it B2B flavour. I threw myself into all social media feet first, my head followed later.
I got clued up on all of it, sought out training in the USA, I remember how backward the UK was. At the time I was working freelance for a training company who provided online management best practice training, all text based. I told the MD that social media was important and it was going to get big. He dismissed it and said and I quote, ‘I am not interested in knowing what people have had for their lunch’.
Many years later he hired me to run a LinkedIn training session for him and his staff.
I even looked for a University course on Social Media and of course there wasn’t one. I guess I wanted to prove to businesses that I was legitimate and I had a proper qualification. The only qualification you need these days is a smartphone.
So all my training was done online watching videos and attending free webinars laid on by visionaries in the US.
I’m hugely grateful to them, without that knowledge I wouldn’t have been able to promote myself as a Social Media ‘expert’.
But I had a massive wake up call. I went to networking meetings in Birmingham UK and every time I introduced myself as a Social Media expert the eyebrows went up and the comment I got back was, ‘oh no not another one!’
Didn’t matter how much convincing I tried to do, I was too early. Because of the negative responses I decided to focus on just one platform, LinkedIn. I have always been passionate about small businesses, after all I am one, or so I like to tell myself. It’s more like a hobby these days.
I felt that I could help small businesses to stand out on LinkedIn. This led to ‘Social Selling’ a Udemy video training courseI created, lots of group and online training that I delivered until one day I came to the realisation and asked a big fat why? Why am I training people how to use products/platforms/advertising engines/data harvesters and I don’t even own them. If they went belly up overnight, so would my business.
On top of that I noticed that most, let’s say around 90%, of the business people I trained, never did anything about using the information they had learnt. That was massively demotivating, so based on those two realisations, I stopped all my social media (mainly LinkedIn) training.
Then we had the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal and that’s when I got serious about doubting all social media. I started dialling down my Facebook (Meta) activity and although I haven’t removed myself completely, I only use Meta’s products very sparingly and once off WhatsApp, I’ve never got back on there again.
So how do I feel about Social Media Day 2022?
Well, a bit indifferent actually, I use it to for sure, but am I as excited about it as I first was? Definitely not. Have I jumped on and new social media apps, like TikTok, SnapChat etc. I definitely tried them, but soon jumped off them as they are of course highly addictive.
There is a massive exception and that’s Social Audio. This latest development of Social Media has huge potential. I am a podcaster and a podcast listener and as such I am already a big fan of audio only and not video. I do believe once the current Social Audio incumbents settle their high initial product development, we can all start to use it with confidence and use a stable product. Fingers crossed this may happen by the end of 2022.
I have no doubt that in 2023 we will have a Social Audio Day 2023.
~ Michael — bio.link/stayingaliveuk