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Social Media is Bullshit

Why social media is overhyped.

By B.J. Mendelson
18-minute read
Social Media is Bullshit by B.J. Mendelson

Social Media Is Bullshit puts a damper on the hype around social media by unveiling the economy behind it and addressing the commonly held misconceptions about the value of social networks for business. While social media can be a valuable asset for certain companies, it is not the cure-all that marketers and social media gurus would have you believe!

  • Anyone who is considering promoting themselves or their business on social media
  • Anyone who believes that social media has somehow revolutionized marketing
  • Anyone wondering why their social media strategy isn’t working

B.J. Mendelson is an author, comedian, and advocate for breast cancer awareness. He has also contributed to CNN, Forbes and the Huffington Post.

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Social Media is Bullshit

By B.J. Mendelson
  • Read in 18 minutes
  • Contains 11 key ideas
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Social Media is Bullshit by B.J. Mendelson
Synopsis

Social Media Is Bullshit puts a damper on the hype around social media by unveiling the economy behind it and addressing the commonly held misconceptions about the value of social networks for business. While social media can be a valuable asset for certain companies, it is not the cure-all that marketers and social media gurus would have you believe!

Key idea 1 of 11

The social media revolution in society and business is a myth.

In recent years, social media has been hailed as revolutionary and as a marketing tool that no entrepreneur or business can neglect if they want to be successful. But are these assumptions about social media really true?

Let’s start with the fact that most social media outlets are actually owned by corporations. Sure, it’s true that there was a time where we more or less had an equal voice on the web, and you could use your blog, for example, to independently gain access to an audience and be heard. But today the majority of the most popular blogs are owned by media conglomerates like Google, Time Warner or AOL.

In fact, most sites with user-created content are actually exploiting their users: people create content for free for sites like the Huffington Post, which the big corporations then turn to profit through advertising.

Furthermore, there’s nothing too new or revolutionary about social media. In fact, most of these “new” sites are simply reiterations of older ideas: before Twitter, there was AOL Instant Messenger; before Facebook, there was Classmates.com; and even Google has been around since 1999.

And they’re no more “revolutionary” than they are new. There is no real difference in the way we interacted with media before the advent of social media and what we do now: we tweet about what’s happening on TV, not the other way around.

Moreover, all the hype around social media sounds a lot like a pitch for a get-rich-quick scheme: just use social media and soon you’ll be a millionaire, too!

Social media is not a revolutionary marketing tool, but a handful of success stories where someone like Justin Bieber was lucky enough to get rich after becoming a YouTube sensation make it easier for Marketers to sell us the “secrets” of making money on social media, and for Analysts to sell their advice to businesses.

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