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You knew it would eventually happen.

The crazy expectations marketers had re social media were bound to wane as the channel matured. Thankfully they have, according to this survey by IBM.

But for those who still think social media is the second coming of some saviour, here’s a list of 8 things social media can’t do:

  1. Catch and kill Osama bin Hidin’. That requires a crack team of Navy Seal shitkickers, a pile of dough and even more patience.
  2. Be used by itself in isolation and achieve results. It has to be paired with other, boring, old, traditional marketing efforts to really work.
  3. Generate business results quickly. The channel is painfully slow. Community building – seemingly what social’s best at – takes time to impact the bottom line.
  4. Show its ROI particularly easily. Since this stuff became all the rage people have been asking how you measure its ROI. Lots of chatter, but no real answer thus far (largely because showing REAL, not just attributed, causal relationships is VERY hard).
  5. Shut Donald Trump up. That, it would appear, is impossible. Though with all that birth certificate nonsense, I am surprised Barack did not send a team of Navy Seal shitkickers to do it.
  6. Replace the 30 second spot. There was a lot of noise awhile back about this, indeed a book was even written on the topic, but guess what, TV commercials still get made – plenty of ’em.
  7. Bring Rick James back to life. While the nutter remains dead, I’d have loved to seen his Twitter feed had he been alive and in the Twitterverse.
  8. Be housed in one place. There’s been a big debate about who “owns” social. As Shel Holtz said in response to this question, “Who owns the telephone?” In most organizations, a variety of players will be involved with social.

You might have stuff to add. That’s what the comments section is for 🙂

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Krista says:

    I love your lists, Jackson! Pray tell, will there be a part two of what social media *can* do 😉

    I might add to your list that social media can’t replace real human interaction. Sure, online communities are the next best thing. But marketers/PR folks should look to creative ways to invite their communities into real life settings (ie. tweet-ups, events). It’s fun to connect online but even better when you can meet the avatars in the flesh. This may also help to solidify the strength of the online community even more if they can mobilize periodically in person.

  • Superb addition! You’re absolutely right. Nothing like in person, face to face interaction.

    I think a second “can” list is coming soon (though mostly humorous “cans” not the gobbledygook we’ve been hearing about for years)

    Have a great weekend.

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