10 Truths about Social Media that “Gurus” Don’t Want You to Know

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So social media is the big craze right now. From Twitter to Facebook, to social media marketing companies and self appointed Gurus, no one will shut up about it. But no one really talks about the darker side of Social Media and what goes on behind the scenes. Let’s do some bubble popping, shall we:

  1. Twitter does not generate revenue for your company. The bullshit about Dell generating $3 million on Twitter forgets to take into account the last 25 years since Michael Dell started the company and built it into the mega-brand it is today. Seriously – do you think anybody could offload that much in product if they weren’t on brand via a frigging micro blogging service?
  2. The only reason Facebook and associated gaming companies have made any money is because they con the hell out of the end user. From diet rebills to mobile subscriptions, FB has some of the more scummy offers you’ll find on a CPA network. Say what you want about Microsoft and Google, but at least there’s some value to the end user.
  3. There is no conversation. Scoble, et al. just needed jobs.
  4. Spending time on Twitter, Facebook etc during working hours when not related to work is theft, just so you know. Although as a web publisher I love the work week – traffic and conversions go way up the from 8AM EST to 5PM PST, Monday – Friday.
  5. The majority of traffic to sites like MegaVideo, YouTube, and the various Chinese video sharing sites like Tudou is to pirated uploads of various television series and popular movies. You won’t see it in any official  statistic, but if you get access to unfiltered logs, you’ll see that I’m right.
  6. Most of the stuff that goes “viral” is prepared by expert marketers with extensive contacts, networks and resources at hand. Very few things go viral by themselves. Anyone who will tell you otherwise is full of it.
  7. The only company I can think of that got real exposure and sales from YouTube is BlendTec. Besides that often hyped case study, I haven’t seen anything come remotely close.
  8. Most of the Social Media “gurus” couldn’t launch a viral campaign if it killed them. There are a few who are really good – the rest just spout platitudes and corporate double talk.
  9. By using Social Media, you  give up the hard earned right to privacy. People paid with blood for the freedom to protect information, and here we are giving our whole lives away on the interwebs. You don’t even own your own data, anymore.
  10. This is not strictly Social Media related, but TechCrunch primarily rewrites press releases into fawning best technology ever articles. Occasionally they feature personal spats that Arrington is having with someone.