Social Media Is Bullshit | B.J. Mendelson

Summary of: Social Media Is Bullshit
By: B.J. Mendelson


Get ready to dive into the world of ‘Social Media Is Bullshit’ by B.J. Mendelson, where you’ll discover how social media isn’t the revolutionary marketing tool it’s often made out to be. In this book summary, grasp how corporations use and exploit social media platforms to their advantage while content creators are left at a disadvantage. Uncover the truth behind the reinvention of older ideas and how social media outlets are not as authentic as they seem. By the end of this summary, you’ll have a clearer understanding of why social media success stories are anything but guaranteed and why investing too much in marketing efforts on these platforms may not yield the results you desire.

The Truth About Social Media

Many have touted social media as a revolutionary marketing tool for businesses, but is it really all it’s cracked up to be? In reality, most social media outlets are owned by corporations who profit from user-generated content. Additionally, social media sites are not as new or innovative as they may seem. Despite the hype, social media is not a guaranteed path to success, but rather a way for marketers to sell their services and advice to businesses.

The Reality of Social Media Success

Social media is often perceived as a platform for achieving overnight success, but the reality is quite different. The article points out that without a substantial budget, insider networks, or established connections, it is almost impossible to gain significant exposure. While anyone can post videos on YouTube, the majority of content creators get almost no traffic. Moreover, the cases of social media fame are often the result of luck and external factors. Justin Bieber’s success did not solely result from uploading videos on YouTube – he was discovered by a music producer who promoted him further. Similarly, social media promotion by the platforms themselves often plays a crucial role in gaining a large following. In conclusion, the article suggests that marketers often sell social media success stories as easily replicable, which is far from the truth.

Social Media Marketing: A Myth?

The idea that social media is a crucial element of your marketing campaign may be a myth. Only a small percentage of web users are active on social media platforms, making it difficult to reach a wider audience. Additionally, most platforms are not useful for promoting businesses, and having an online presence does not guarantee more sales. Marketing on social media is also costly and may not be worth the investment for smaller businesses. The next parts of the book will explore the origins of this myth.

Marketing Advice Beyond Corporations

The book explains why marketing advice in books mostly applies to big corporations, and how small business owners cannot execute it effectively.

Have you ever read a marketing book and noticed that all the examples were from big corporations? That’s not a coincidence. Marketers who provide advice on promoting brands or products target big corporations as their primary clients, where the money is. Authors make more money selling to corporations and their staff than to other potential audiences. The marketing books are marketed to the masses, including people like you who want to promote their own work. However, the tools and advice given in those books, which might be effective for huge corporations, are not applicable to small business owners or artists seeking to promote themselves.

Large companies have a considerable marketing budget, workforce, experts, well-established brand, and a substantial online presence. In contrast, small business owners have limited resources and cannot execute the same tactics. For example, social media expenditures, which are often calculated as a budget loss, are not affordable for small business owners.

However, authors market their books for everyone, not just corporations, to sell more copies. They seek credibility by being on the New York Times bestseller list, which enables them to use their prestige to earn more money—for example, as a public speaker at corporate seminars. Therefore, marketing books that appear to provide universal advice might not prove helpful for small business owners, given that their circumstances are fundamentally different.

The Myth of Social Media Marketing

The marketing industry promotes social media as a necessary tool for all businesses, creating a myth that benefits both marketers and their clients. This tactic allows marketers to sell their expertise and expand their market while tricking their clients into thinking they are getting something novel. By creating buzzwords like “Web 2.0” and “social media,” marketers build new marketing opportunities for themselves by filling the information gap they created.

Exploiting the Social Media Myth

Learn how marketers establish themselves as social media experts and make money by selling myths through a simple formula that involves creating a myth and using media to establish oneself as an expert.

Social media “experts” are ubiquitous, and you may wonder how they end up being featured in interviews, invited to give speeches or consultations. What many people don’t know is that there is a whole system that these experts use to make money selling myths about social media. This system exploits the gullibility of people and the lack of accountability in the marketing industry.

To establish themselves as experts, the marketers create myths that they themselves insist are important. They start by creating a professional homepage where they present their myth, and then engage in superficial research on their topic. They reach out to people in their field or related ones and try to grab media attention by writing comments and answering blog posts.

Marketers target media that is uncritical of buzzwords and is likely to have a large audience. Once they get media attention, they become de facto experts, who can then earn money as speakers and consultants. They can even write books about their field, perpetuating their myth and cashing in on its popularity.

Marketers avoid accountability by moving on from client to client, without answering for their lack of results. They can also hire people to write good reviews for them, ensuring their reputation remains unscathed.

In conclusion, marketers create and sell myths about social media to make money. They use a simple formula that involves creating a myth, using media to establish their expertise and gain significant following. The lack of accountability in the marketing industry allows them to make money without delivering any results.

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