Stop Wasting Time Reading ABOUT Social Media

with 4 Comments

Yes, I realize the irony of my title. Bear with me.

Stop Reading ABOUT Social Media

We definitely have an obsession with the pop culture of social media. It is just so much smiling-fun to read about, right?

If you are a social media professional, then we both know how precious your time is and how you do not have time to be on Twitter all day reading most of the crap all of us are guilty of putting out there.

Let’s take a look at some of the headlines that have been popular this week on Twitter. Some of these might sound like they are relevant to social media and your business:

  • Why Groupon Is Poised For Collapse [Techcrunch]
  • 10 Must-Follow Fake Twitter Celebs [Mashable]
  • Facebook Expected To File For $100 Billion IPO This Year [Business Insider]
  • Facebook Is Winning Silicon Valley’s Talent War [Fast Company]

Now there is nothing wrong with any of these websites or these specific articles. What gets us all in trouble is going on Twitter and Facebook looking to learn something and winding up reading ABOUT social media rather than LEARNING about social media.

The two rarely collide. And none of the above articles will teach you anything that can help your business today.

To be successful in using social media for your business, you do not have to know everything about the ecosystem. You do not need to know about viral videos or Twitter celebrities or the latest, greatest iPhone app.

If your goal is to waste a little time, build some relationships, and relax while watching the latest cat youtube videos, go for it. We all deserve that downtime.

But if you are consuming this type of content in the name of “learning social media,” I can now confirm for you, there is little actual learning happening on Twitter and Facebook, and you need to refocus your efforts.

This conversation is the sole reason I started the Social Fresh conferences 2 years ago. I was going to a ton of conferences for bloggers or for the internet or for tech enthusiasts. And no one was talking about what a business should be doing.

If you are looking to LEARN about social media, I recommend asking the question: “Is this teaching something I can implement today?”

At Social Fresh, we are creating an entire community based around a higher level of social media training for marketers. Based around training people can turn around and use right away. From THE industry experts.

We are all learning a little more about social media each day through Tweets and Facebook updates and Youtube videos. And spending time there is not the end of the world.

But it is always important to stop and ask ourselves how much of all this content is actually helping us with our business?

4 Responses

  1. Vonbrucken


  2. Jackie Thorpe Ewing

    Not sure I agree entirely with this Jason. Firstly, a lot of learning is done through reading. Of course, reading alone is not enough. You have to take what you learn from reading and then implement some of it. Try new things, see if it works for you and keep on trying. If I can’t read about social media, how else am I going to learn about what’s new, what’s working in new ways, what’s changed? I can’t attend every conference, seminar or webinar out there – I HAVE to read a lot of it – online and in print. Sure, I can get distracted as much as the next person, but I know what I’m reading is either going to be useful to me or not.nOn a side note, if you ever need a decent Trivial Pursuit team player, count me in – I have a head full of useless information that I’ve read somewhere, sometime!

  3. Anonymous

    Such a great article here Jason.u00a0 You’re absolutely right!u00a0 The one question everyone should be asking themselves is “Is this something I can implement today?”u00a0 There’s lots of junk on social media and frankly some of it goes to our heads in the course of time.u00a0 Speaking from personal experience I’m perhaps a victim of just that and need to refocus on filtering out the “social junk” and being more engaging with my initial approach.nn

  4. Delilah Jones

    I’ve found that so many experts, gurus or whatever you wish to call them, are constantly pushing the limits with new content and teaching online marketers new things. u00a0However, as so much time is spent writing and teaching about the latest, not only are marketers getting bogged down in the learning, the client ultimately suffers while time is spent away from actually doing what’s needed to be done for them. u00a0It takes precious time to learn, and learning is good, but after sifting through the piles of junk to get to the good stuff, then taking the time to learn a new procedure, by the end of the day, nothing was done for the client! u00a0I do like to learn new things, but can only implement in small increments! u00a0Thanks for spelling it out so well, the article is much appreciated~!