June 03, 2009

The Volume Knob And The Tone Knob

Let's say for a minute that social media maniacs really believe all the noise they make about consumers wanting to have relationships with brands, and conversations about them.

Let's also say that all these wonderful relationships and conversations are happening online, like the maniacs say.

Now let's have a listen to The Grumpy Brit...

"If I think about brands with which, for the sake of argument I’ll acknowledge I have some sort of relationship, it’s akin to the ‘relationship’ I have with a good waiter. He doesn’t drone on about his kids or tipping trends, he doesn’t ask me what I think of his new apron or recite his resume. He’ll share his thoughts on the menu or the wine list but spares me his ideas on solving the crisis in the Middle East. He’s there when I need him and melts into the background when I don’t...."

I've been on Twitter for about 3 weeks now and I've noticed something alarming.

Among my circle of twits there are a few people who are unusually annoying. They bombard me with an unrelenting torrent of unfiltered stream-of-consciousness nonsense and thinly disguised self-promotion.

The scary part? They're all social media consultants and experts. Not some, all.

These are the people who are supposed to be expert at "managing brands" online through social media.

I "friended" them originally because I thought they were interesting and would have something valuable to say.

My opinion of them has plummeted in the past few weeks. As far as I can tell, they are abysmal at managing their own "brands" on line.

You'd think someone claiming to be an expert in this area would understand the difference between the volume knob and the tone knob.

Three short weeks ago, I was someone who thought highly of them. Today I am totally annoyed with them and sick of their pestering.

And they've done it all through the miracle of social media.

All the annoying ones are social media experts. But not all the social media experts I follow are annoying. Everyone got that?

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