Friday, February 27, 2009

Semantics, Consumers & Social Media

Just over two years ago I had a little rant about the use of the word "consumer". I still firmly believe that it's worth avoiding. Thinking about "people" is so much more useful to good marketing.

Now I'm starting to get niggled by "social media". I've a feeling I'm going to loathe it soon.

With the assumption that it's a good idea for advertisers to infiltrate the world of social networks, you'll end up with smarter ideas if you think about them as "social networks" rather than as "social media".

"Social media" implies that you have a right to be there. "Social networks" reminds you that you don't.

On a similar subject, Robin Grant (MD of We Are Social) posted the same content on two different blogs this week about how brands should use Twitter. The first on his Brand Republic blog, the second on the We Are Social blog. Not only is the article well worth a read, but it's also interesting to note, by the number and nature of the comments, how differently the article was received in the different contexts.


Robin Grant said...

If you start thinking about media in the same way Marshall McLuhan did, you'll soon get over it...

James said...

...misses my point (I think!).

The problem is not my definition of media. It's the mindset of most people who are bandying the term "social media" around. It's the same mindset that "does marketing to consumers".

It will be beneficial to their thinking to reframe in "social networks" terminology in the same way as referring to "people" instead of "consumers".