Happy New Year!
I’m not going to lie — 2016 was a rough year, for many reasons. But it’s 2017 now. As a small business owner I am hopeful, yet cautious for what the year ahead will bring. I’ve found it hard to put into words over the past few months what I’m feeling because I’ve felt stifled. Some days I’ve struggled to see how social media strategy fits into the big picture.
There are so many examples of how social media contributed to 2016’s dumpster fire. It’s no longer just a fun place. For many it’s a place where harassment reigns, tirades erupt regularly, and civility isn’t required. In the last few months, several people have asked me, “what is happening to social media?”
Answers have been hard to come by. On one hand, social media still wields great power. It gives people a voice. But on the other hand, it’s hard to get excited about content marketing when there’s a revolution brewing. I often roll my eyes when I see routine industry posts move past me in my feeds. If only it was so simple to focus on SEM or CXM. How can they be so oblivious to what’s going on around them?
But then I remember that 1) people still have to make a living and 2) it’s all content marketing.
Professionally, I know what social media can do for my clients — it helps them connect with customers, increase awareness and education and cultivate a community.
Personally, however, I’ve felt uninspired. It’s not that I haven’t contributed —I’m certainly responsible for my fair share of political posts and calls for community actions, as well as obligatory dog photos. It’s just that I don’t feel what I used to feel about the potential of social media when it first presented itself almost 10 years ago. I remember how optimistic I felt about the power it held to connect with people, to share new ideas and information and to reshape the future of communication. I’m missing that spark. Has social media jumped the shark? Has it gone too far past where we wanted it to go? Or is it doing precisely what it was built to do?
I don’t know. But I’m eager to investigate. In 2017, not only do I want to find my social media spark again, I also want to understand how social media is changing, and how social media has changed us.