The End of Social Media Reflected by Fake Followers

Bill Snyder at Infoworld posted some amazing statistics that support the end of social media as we know it, which I predicted in 2009. Marketing and public relations have been losing influence for years because they are impersonal, and people prefer personalized interactions (deep dive here), so marketers and their vendors are grasping at straws. In this context, “social media” has generally been practiced as a shallow promotional activity, and my premise in predicting its demise is that the true potential of social technologies is creating and maintaining relationships, which are based on personalized attention and caring. 

Twitter’s Fake Followers lays out in gory detail the extent of vendors’, marketers’, “celebrities’ and politicians’ desperation, and its links take you to real data. It also links to the Fake Follower Check, which reveals the degree of fake followers of any Twitter handle/username. For example, since I have chosen to build a tight Twitter network, I have 2% of fakes, 8% inactive and 90% good. Unsurprisingly, political candidates have some of the biggest percentage of fakes in their followings. I first covered sponsored tweets in 2009 in Advertising on Twitter?

Why the “End” of Social Media

Marketing and public relations were born in the impersonal Industrial Economy in which people exchanged individualized communications for cheap products and services. The emerging Knowledge Economy offers cheap products and services that are individualized, and social technologies are forcing firms to “humanize” or (I predict) perish. Wouldn’t you prefer jeans, oatmeal or treasury services that were truly individualized to your needs—at a mass-produced price? Wouldn’t you prefer firms and political figures to interact with you meaningfully, so you could trust them more? Most people would.

The Knowledge Economy’s personalization works because other people using social technologies will do most of the personalization, not companies or organizations. Learn more about how this happens in Social Channel One.

What do you think about the end of social media? Will you cry on its grave?

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