No dear reader, it’s not you I’m disappointed in. It’s an industry. That industry is Internet Marketing. So what has me disappointed enough to write a blog post criticizing the very industry that I have been a part of since 1998? Well, it’s not because I didn’t earn a 6 figure income last year. *New Year’s Resolution – Do Not Repeat That In 2013*
I’ll let my earlier tweet explain why I’m so disappointed this morning and then elaborate on it below.
Internet Marketers have got to be the least “socialable” group of people to follow on Twitter. How do you “connect” with automated tweets?
— Sharon McPherson (@SharonMcP) December 31, 2012
What’s ironic is that many of those who call themselves “Social Media Experts”, are the worse offenders of this action, which deepens my feeling of disappointment even more because some of them are the very people who mentored me in how to use Twitter to connect with your followers.
I’m going to reveal something about myself that my family and close friends will vigorously nod their heads in agreement to – I do not accept change easily.
And boy howdy, after coming back from a 2 year business hiatus because of illness did I find change!
I was met with industry wide changes in techniques and venues, but no where were those changes more noticeable than in Social Media. Facebook had changed my timeline design and just who among my friends would most likely see my status updates. Google had released Google+. And Pinterest was beckoning me to become something I have never dreamed of being – a pin-up girl.
But Twitter, ah yes Twitter, it’s almost like I never knew ye.
I couldn’t believe this was the same social networking platform that in 2008 I had played a small part in revolutionizing as a contributor to the book Twitter Revolution.
Where is the recommending of helpful tools and resources not your own? Where is the responding to your followers questions? Where are the retweets? Where is #FollowFriday? Where is personally replying when someone mentioned your username in a tweet? Where is personally thanking someone for retweeting you or mentioning you?
In other words, where is the socializing, if you’re using Twitter as a social networking venue?
From what I have observed during my 2 months back on Twitter, it has given way to little more than automatic tweets pushing one’s own products and services, which in my humble opinion is turning Twitter into nothing more than today’s version of a Safelist masquerading as a social networking platform.
If you’re not familiar with safelists, they were a very popular, and effective, method of advertising back in the early days of internet marketing. In fact, one of my first forays into online marketing was running my own safelist in 1999 and 2000 called Internet Marketing Force.
What a safelist does is enable someone to opt into a list where they can email their ads to other members of the list, in exchange for receiving the ads sent by those same members. As I said, they were an effective method of introducing one’s products and services to the public until – you guessed it – some blackhat marketers decided to use and abuse the system until it was no longer effective.
In this 2008 article by John Wood he said this about the use of safelist…
Essentially what you have is marketers sending emails to other marketers. So there’s a good chance your ad may never be read.
Sound familiar Twitter users?
So what are your thoughts? Have internet markters ruined Twitter as an effective social networking platform, or is there still time to stop its slide into oblivion and restore it to the “party in your pocket” @CoachDeb called it in 2008?
I hope it’s the latter, because I truly miss the Twitter I knew and loved.
Thanks for stopping by.