Don't follow the herd

Trouble Maker Rapids, South Fork American River 1985 I think it’s wise for many gardening businesses to have a presence on the various social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.  Many of your customers are there, and perhaps you should be too. However, I do think it’s wise to try and get people to use your website, or subscribe to your e-news as an overall theme. My concerns are, as popular as some of these social media sites think they are, they may be doomed in the long run. Then what?

Social media has started to take an odd turn, but one that wasn't unexpected. As we talked about in the last post, “The Customer as Garden Celebrity”, social media sites are becoming filled with advertisements disguised as “social media”. It’s starting to become all so predictable that it’s boring. Frankly, when everything you Tweet, or put on Facebook is some form of advertisement, it’s time to move on.

I’ll be a bit bold and say that blogs and personal websites owned by the writer will never go away, and will slowly grow in importance once again. One of the reasons my family bought into TIVO when it first came out, back in 1999, was the ability to tune out the commercials. Facebook and Twitter are starting to resemble old school media with its constant commercials.

What's happened are many fell for the “instant celebrity” aspect of social media. The more followers you amassed, and the more you tweeted about any old thing the higher your Klout score, or ego would climb. Some people are using social media as a type of “popular currency” that may lead to you being offered goods or money, in exchange for talking about whatever they want you to talk about. I fell for some of this, until the people paying my way showed their true colors.

It’s not worth the loss of freedom to speak one’s mind. This is what concerns me with the present trajectory of social media. There seems to be too much following the herd, and less real discussion going on these days. The really great conversations are getting drowned out by the #hashtagging and commercializing. For me it’s time to focus more on my blog, and do a bit less scrolling through the feed looking for something that likely isn't there anyway.