Social Media is dead. At least, it is if you want to manage your personal brand online with any certainty. Over the last year I’ve done an experiment with my personal blog. I put a blog together that had no advertising or marketing on it. I focused on putting information out there so my clients and non- profit partners could get a leadership tip every week. I had solid guest blogger content and marketed it only with social media. I shared it only within my network. In the last year, the results were over 310,000 hits and over 9100 repeat individual visitors visited the blog. Obviously content people want to read, right? Apparently, one or two people thought something I posted appeared spammy (Facebook’s term for what my blog might be).
If you’re reading this, you’re probably not currently reading it on Facebook. That’s because I’ve been blocked from Facebook. Someone marked me as spam on Facebook because of a blog I had posted. Did I use some twisted alias on Facebook to perpetrate this fraud? No, as a matter of fact it was a link to my personal blog at http://www.trippbraden.com/. Was the blog a useless waste of time, obviously spam? I don’t know. I’m sure Harvey Mackay writing about focus would be astounded to learn he was considered spam. Yes, readers, it was a reprint of a Harvey Mackay article that got me blacklisted from Facebook.
Some nameless, faceless person, for whatever reason decided what I had to say was “spam.” The thing I can’t get over is that this person had to click on the link to get to the supposed spam.
Which is why I go back to the premise that social media is dead. Using social media to further your corporate or organizational agenda is an unstable platform at best, despite what countless “Social Media Gurus” would have you believe. All you need is one or two disgruntled, unhappy, malicious customers or competitors and everything you’ve created in social media is gone.
I can hear your arguments already. Why don’t you appeal to the Facebook administrators? Well, I would, but there’s really no appeal process. If there is an appeal process, how to go about it is very well hidden on the site. I couldn’t find it. Anyone can say you’re spam and you have no recourse. The administrators of the social media sites say they don’t get in the middle of such issues. But even in a court of law you get to face your accuser. In social media, you have no idea who they are.
Others I know of have been blacklisted. Their solution? Get back on with a different user name. So, all of the branding you’ve developed is gone because you have to use another ID. That’s not a solution to me. Better marketers than me suggested this happens a lot. Not just with Facebook. Thanks to their warnings, I had people register on my site. I also made sure that my RSS feeds works and people are signed up for them.
In my opinion, social media is too unsteady to support the weight of your branding efforts. Administrators don’t want to get involved, even though they’re raking in the millions. Too many small-minded people think it’s a way they can finally get even, and you have no way to answer them, find what’s bothering them, or even salvage your good name. Until someone is willing to take responsibility, I’ll take my business elsewhere.