The Year Social Media Became More Mundane
2013 was a wild ride for all things social media. By some accounts, it was the making of an industry.
Social media has moved from a hangout for the bored and restless to a legitimate place to network and market one’s goods and services.
The infographic below highlights some of the most popular happenings in 2013. It shows:
- the introduction new social platforms such as Vine
- stronger and new rivalries as in Facebook versus Google+ and Vine versus Instagram
- the humble hashtag growing in importance
- YouTube continuing to entertain on the big and small screen
- small, innovative companies are gobbled up by bigger, less innovative industry leaders
- social media penetrated the Sistine Chapel as well as the Syrian Government (What does that say?)
- more of us experimented with Facebook ads
- how we were rudely introduced to “twerking” by Miley
- Twitter putting on the big boy pants by going all IPO
- “selfie’ became the word of the year
Some Skipped Social Media Happenings
However, the infographic skips over some of the happenings that occurred at ground zero for social media marketing. Steps that show social media is losing some of its luster by becoming less of an online space of self-ascribed higher values and more like a plain old profit generating business.
What steps? Here are a few that stick in my memory from last year and that mean significant changes for online marketers.
- Google drops its free Keyword tool and hides the keywords used to find your website or blog.
- Google changes the world of search and SEO.
- Facebook changes the rules and makes you pay to reach your fans.
I’m not saying that social media marketing doesn’t work or that it won’t continue to work in the years to come. Nor am I saying that a social media business shouldn’t make a profit.
It is just in my mind, 2013 represents a significant shift for the industry that used to lay claim to being a ‘better way’. One had a sense that the industry leaders could do things differently. They could reinvent what it meant to be a company.
21013 exposed reality. While some things are different, what drives all companies – no matter how high the aspiration or big the dreams – is the bottom line.
Personally, I’ll look back over the last decade with a melancholy for what could have been. You?