7th February 2014 - Is it OK to be unsociable on social media?
I nearly peed myself laughing when I read a tweet by @write_online along the lines of “what do you do if you’re on social media but you’re unsociable?” I’ve known Kevin for years and that question is so typically, acerbically him – which is why it was so hilarious.
When I stopped laughing, I realised he actually raises a very good point.
For the vast majority of businesses and businesspeople, the use of social media has become an integral part of a modern communication strategy.
Has social media created a compulsion to keep pumping out posts to maintain some kind of online presenteeism?
Social media’s blessing can also be its curse. It differs from other disciplines in the PR armoury – such as media relations and direct mail – because of its immediacy and ability to induce direct, individual engagement. And with that comes a compulsion to keep pumping out posts to maintain some kind of online presenteeism.
The fear of not having a constant stream of things to say seems to haunt most businesses and they put content strategies in place to avoid that pitfall. This often includes:
– genuine news announcements, such as new business wins, awards, etc.
– regurgitating, sharing or commenting on news, funny stuff, etc.
– streams of consciousness and thought leadership
– strategic reposting and commenting on blogs
– special offers and exclusive discounts
– online courtships of new contacts and brown-nosing existing ones
The list goes on.
In an age of quantity, what’s happened to quality?
The incessant nature of social media doesn’t seem to give credit to those who choose to post selectively rather than regularly.
However, Kevin seems to have perfected the art of lobbing social hand grenades into Twitter and LinkedIn. He doesn’t lob them that often, but when he does they always go boom – which is why they’re always worth waiting for because they are genuinely interesting, are thought-provoking or you actually learn something new as a result.
Nevertheless, the void between his posts is filled by the spectre of unsociability.
So, is it better to say too much to be sociable or too little and be perceived as unsociable on social media?