Biz Tips: Why the recent Facebook crisis showed me that we really never understood social media

Biz Tips: Why the recent Facebook crisis showed me that we really never understood social media

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Why the recent Facebook crisis showed me that we really never understood social media

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In the past few months, I have been thinking a lot about social media. When I mean a lot I really mean it. Just so you know a little of my background, I have been studying Digital Marketing and Social Media influence in the companies marketing and advertising strategies since 2011, when even the term “Social Media” was much discussed in Brazil, with some referring it also as “Social Networking” when it comes to marketing practices.

Back in March of this year, Facebook was the target of an international scandal, involving misleading information towards users who since had opened the eyes and embraced the zero-tolerance campaign against fake news. This is particularly alarming to the elder generations, a.k.a my father, who loves to forward messages and news on WhatsApp. Sometimes me and my sister joke about him telling that if he opens his email and sees a spam saying that he won a million and need to travel somewhere to receive it he will. This is funny and worrisome at the same time. My father is part of the same generation who told their sons to not trust on sharing things on the internet and now from all sudden, is the king of speeches like “I saw this on the internet”, or “If’s on the internet must be true”.

For me, this is the tip of the iceberg. Social Media was presented to my generation as something fun and nowadays we know of the big responsibility that anyone holds when share or post something on the internet.

But notably personal accounts are the root of the problem in my opinion. This thinking is already in my mind for a while. Since I work with social media the expression heavy user for me is not even relevant. Working with something that most the people use for distraction and fun kinda ruins this aspect of it a bit. But also knowing how to best use it for companies makes me understand better the use of each social media platform properly. For instance, it took me a while before I started to use Twitter as one of my main social media and also to use fewer others, like Facebook, because I have a feeling that is been stagnating since Ads algorithms practically ruined the reach of the page posts. I’ve cleaned my Facebook at least two times entirely to focus on the things that I really want to see there.

And this brings me to center focus of this article: Do we really know what we are doing on social media? Why do we need to be everywhere? Is that really necessary? Short answer: it really depends. In my case, yes. Obviously. I work with it. But for the majority, I would say no.

Not long time ago a recruiter approached me on LinkedIn — probably the platform that I’m most engaged nowadays. And after we changed some messages the person popped on my Facebook, asking to be my friend.

Don’t take me wrong. I’m not anti-social or rude. Facebook is my most personal social network and why would I have anyone there that I have no interest in social life or who is not even part of mine? I have seen this for a long time, especially with acquaintances. Did you see it once? Add to Facebook. C’mon people. Brazilians love two things when it comes to social media: Taking pictures every time they go out to post it on social media and add people that they don’t know much about on their social media.

Recently I tweeted the following, which represents for me how to use each social media efficiently:

Do you see Facebook there? Funny, right? It didn’t even come to my mind to include Facebook. I didn’t do it on purpose, but thinking now makes sense. If you’re not a big news company or brand, Facebook is entirely personal. I wouldn’t use it in another instance. My opinion.

Another insightful data is that Facebook is starting to be the favorite social media for older generations, with Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat being the main focus of a much younger audience. This means that these users will not try to develop the platform that was left there without being improved from its past mistakes.

Is time for us to understand the impact of our actions on social networks platforms and social media as a whole. The world is more connected than ever and we are a fundamental piece of this increasing big and complex network.

And you, are you doing your part?

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Why the recent Facebook crisis showed me that we really never understood social media was originally published in Marketing And Growth Hacking on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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