At a recent conference, a group was standing around and someone (who shall remain anonymous) bravely spoke up and stated a fact many of us have been feeling, thinking, and trying to figure out.  "I really am tired of this whole social media thing."  There was a bit of silence, but the nodding heads proved that many of us were in agreement.

 

I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that most of us in this space, RBC frequenters, unConference or Social Recruiting Conference attendees have been tackling Social Media - going at it - for quite a while now.  Many for three years or longer. And the surprise is always there when a session is filled with many that have never even logged onto a social media site, let alone dig the Twitter scene.

 

 

It hasn't been easy, as a matter of fact, almost weekly the rules change.  LinkedIn has started to look an awful lot like Facebook and the home page of Facebook looks like a Twitter stream and Plaxo lurks in the corner like some creepy cross breed of Facebook and LinkedIn.  And the "keep up" is exhausting, a concerted effort to stay active and keep up with the changes is a must or is it?

 

 

I used to spend a couple hours a day cruising through Twitter and other sites, worried I might miss the next big announcement or an opportunity to respond to something hi-larious or off-the-charts.  But something amazing started to happen about six months ago.  Work got busy, then it got busier.  And one might theorize that because I was keeping up, because I was aware of what was going on, surely this is why I became so busy.  Perhaps, but the busy began to limit my social media time spend.  And it was a good thing, I have learned how to quickly skim the sites for anything of interest or that might affect me or my job / company.

 

 

Effective time spend must be budgeted, just like effective money spend.  If you don't measure the give / loss, how can you possibly understand the gain?  Measuring the ROI of social media time spend is next to impossible for its reach is really unknowable.  The only thing you can really measure is the time spent engaging, thus the time NOT spent doing something else, perhaps something more effective like talking to potential clients / customers face-to-face. Novel concept. 

 

 


Social media is a great icebreaker, but it isn't the party.  That's not always so easy to remember.

 

 

 

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Great point. Seems like as recruiting professionals, we've all jumped into the social media scene because everyone else is seemingly doing it too. I know I don't want to miss out on anything that my colleagues are benefiting from. Yet, I'm still at a bit of a loss. Between tweets, blogs, friend requests and the like; it's only a matter of time before I develop some sort of carpal tunnel dissorder. LOL. Anyhow, I'm sure there's value in these platforms, but, I've yet to determine if the value meets or exceeds the value of spending my time developing my business the old fashioned way.
Social media is an essential part of my own business networking strategy (well, not so much a strategy, but a way of getting a message about what i do out there) but I sometimes fear it is in danger of taking over some people's lives.

I remember over ten years ago now, when i was a member of a pretty big sporting bulletin board service (BBS). It suddenly dawned on the community there that this was a novel thing - talking to people that we would possibly never get to were it not for the good old BBS. And, we all had something in common! Why not meet up?

Before long, lo and behold there were regular BBS meet ups - random ones for the hell of it, organised ones at Christmas or on other opportune dates. It was great fun putting faces to names or finding out that "The Big fella" was actually called Dave Smith and didn't look anything like you had pictured. in your minds eye. Getting drunk with strangers who had suddenly become friends whilst talking about a subject that was dear to both your hearts. What a hoot!

The point of all the above? It's this. Social media seems to be going through the same 'exciting discovery period' that the bulletin boards did some years ago. i.e. there are people now using social media who maybe haven't even ever been on a bulletin board, or if they have, they were lurkers rather than posters. But now they have come of age and are going through the same stage that some of us experienced back then and many more of us will in the not too distant future, namely the realisation that you can arrange meet ups. You can actually talk face to face with people and consider yourself to be part of an exclusive club! Who knew?

Or wasn't meeting face to face what we did before any of this web and social media mullarkey came along anyway?
Social media is the new bubble. Like all bubbles, they eventually pop. We've seen them before and this time we have the advantage of seeing the train bearing down upon us, precisley because as Rayanne points out so many of us have been in it a while...

SM seems to have a shelf life of 2-6 months for most. Yes, there are always new people streaming in but at some point the stream trickles. What are you gonna do then "when the new wears off and the old shines through" (~Clay Walker)?

Oh, and yes, to answer your question, I'm growing tired. Weary might be the better word.
Hi Rayanne,

I wonder if you might get a hard time from some for this post. But only because it's brave as well as a fair question!
To answer the headline "Anyone Else Tired of Social Media", my honest answer is no. It's no because I'm still learning and getting to grips with it and there is a whole host of things to get to grip with!

But it's no different to many channels of communication that are no different in that you need to cut through a lot of **** to find the useful bits. Similarly it's a learning process in who to engage with and learn from. There are a large swathe of people out there who are full of their own self importance and clearly "getting off" on writing inane blogs and goodness knows what else. But then you learn to dismiss them just as you would no longer pick up a newspaper that you know is full of drivel. There are most certainly a lot of people who I am tired of appearing in social media, but then I can unsubscribe to their blog or unfollow them on twitter.

That said however, there is a current as well as growing place for social media in all of our lives. Professional, personal and somewhere in between, which is a genuine first where you have something potentially so powerful and instantly communicative that it blurs the lines so much between our personal and professional personas.

Recruitment of the future is no longer going to be about doing things how we always did because it "just got busier" again. Because as I write the recruitment world has shifted another notch towards throwing out the old model. Clients are looking at ways of disengaging with the old school and for new and innovative ways to find talent. (why speak to a recruiter when you can source direct on linkedin) Social media is not the answer but it's going to be an important and fundamental element of a successful and integrated recruitment strategy for the future....starting yesterday! And neither is it meant to be an alternative in replacing talking to clients / customers face to face, it's purely another channel / source that adds value to and enhances the overall experience.
Nice Post, Rayanne! It's definitely a fair question and I agree with you that it's the introduction and not the party!

As far as keeping up to date with SM, a big thing is just to get smarter at keeping up with it. There is no possible way to keep tuned into every conversation that's happening but setting up searches, Google Reader and other tools to keep track of the important conversations is definitely key.

Lastly, I don't think Social Media is a fad as some others do, but I do agree that it may not be the ground-breaking entrant some make it out to be.

All the Best,

Chris
chris@smashfly.com
I see social media as part of a social revolution. It is a time in history where all of us have an opportunity to share our story. Perhaps, it is more aptly put is that we are encouraged to tell our story. Many new voices have been heard in our community. And for some, the experience is rewarding and for others the experience is not worth repeating.

But I always like to recall what called us to social media in the first place; for me, it was that the target talent has identified themselves on social platforms. Not only have they self-identified, but they have conveniently segmented themselves into useful communities. And, I believe if you are involved in talent identification, my thesis is we need to connect with talent where they are.
Great Point. I take scheduled breaks from social media.
I watched a show last night on (Smithsonian channel) Federal Writer's Project; a WPA work project funded by the govt in the 1930s.

I saw many similarities in it to what is happening today in our own journalings.

The program had its funding cut when things started to improve (and the criticism of what was called a "boondoggle" became too powerful) ; many of those "writers" (Cheever, Steinbeck, Wright, Attaway, Terkel, Thompson, West to name only a few) went on to write other powerful musings. Project writer Zora Neale Hurston wrote "Their Eyes Were Watching God" in 1937; later called by Time as one of the 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005.

It's occurred to me before that many writers in our genre are chronicling an especially difficult time in American history and later generations will be the better for it.
I knew this was coming. Here's the thing. This "fad", "bubble" or whatever else it's referred to as is not the problem. It's not even the amount of new sites and tools popping up (although it is getting ridiculously crowded). It's the fact that many recruiters don't know how to use it to properly engage and strengthen the company's employment brand. For the most part I see many recruiters mining through just like they do job boards. Many of them have not yet learned how to use social media as a tool that can provide return. There's a lot of background noise out there from so-called gurus who are driving up the demand. How many times have you heard the phrase "social media is a free, cheap and easy way to find talent"? Everyone starts to feel like if they're not doing it too, then they are missing out. But how many recruiters or companies for that matter are really taking the time to learn how to use it strategically or correctly?

Unfortunately recruiters come in as end users which puts them on the same playing field as the average every day user and other recruiters. Not very many have learned to engage (no, I don't mean send invites, friend people and tweet their comments) to draw out the great talent. How many companies have built a real presence (not a profile or page or video channel) but a real presence on social media? What activities are you using it for besides trying to find resumes and glimpses into what a person's professional capabilities are? A lot of recruiters are using it in search mode instead of engagement/relationship building mode.

Just like when people started getting bored with the whole internet recruiting thing, or job boards, this is no different. Everything goes through cycles. It doesn't make it obsolete. You just have to get more creative in your approach and be willing to learn more and dig deeper. When you use the tools just like everyone else, you get what everyone else gets. I challenge you all to dig deeper and be more strategic and stop racing to beat every one else or keep up with the Joneses. Only then can you find the real benefit in using social media and not see it as a fad. Don't blame the tools, blame the method. And remember two things: social media and social networking are two different things; and it should be used in conjunction with, not a replacement for, your overall recruiting strategy (but you already know that).

Just my 6 cents worth.

Adrienne Graham
Rayanne,

I believe I was part of this live actual conversation, and I'm glad you choose to post about it. Looks like it was worthwhile to go out on the ledge and write about it. Sometimes I feel like I am having the same conversation with those new to social media at a conference or consultation. Given that this exactly what I do every day, I don't know if I am tired of it but it seems like GroundHog Day in a way. I have the same exact conversation multiple times.

I'm happy to help people dive in and discuss the ins and outs with the right way in mind. Those of us have learned a lot both good and bad along the way. The good news is that since I have the same discussion I am able to really refine and polish my conversation just as a professional speaker would giving the same keynote over and over again.

Good stuff!!

Jessica

@blogging4jobs
Hi Rayanne, great post and I think your comment about being prudent about the time you spend on social media is most insightful. If you have only one hour, the question is then how to make the most of your time, which means having a strategy in place, otherwise it is just dabbling. Not everyone is at the same level, and some people are only now catching the wave.
Interesting dialogue. You said: "It sometimes feels like, because we are saying it so often and so loud, that no one is listening and that may be the frustrating part." I suggest that in this situation you have two options: change the message or change the messenger.

Unfortunately, it's unlikely that the conversation (or results) will be moved forward until the self-appointed "experts" and "gurus" that have so quickly entrenchenched themselves into positions of supposed wisdom find a new shiny object to chase after.
FZ

Rayanne said:
Yes, Jessica, you were part of the actual conversation. ;-)

And we did discuss saying the same thing over and over again... It sometimes feels like, because we are saying it so often and so loud, that no one is listening and that may be the frustrating part. Especially when you look back and realize how much effort, you - yourself - have had to put into learning the SM space. The finesse required, the flexibility that is requisite, the necessary attention that NO ONE wants to pay to their online reputation or the multiple ways to drive SEO, not just paying someone else to do it...

I guess the conversation feels old because it is. Refining - redefining is good though, shortening the schpeel and increasing comprehension are the good results of us old fogeys having been here and done that, already.

A conversation worth having.



Jessica Miller-Merrell said:
Rayanne,

I believe I was part of this live actual conversation, and I'm glad you choose to post about it. Looks like it was worthwhile to go out on the ledge and write about it. Sometimes I feel like I am having the same conversation with those new to social media at a conference or consultation. Given that this exactly what I do every day, I don't know if I am tired of it but it seems like GroundHog Day in a way. I have the same exact conversation multiple times.

I'm happy to help people dive in and discuss the ins and outs with the right way in mind. Those of us have learned a lot both good and bad along the way. The good news is that since I have the same discussion I am able to really refine and polish my conversation just as a professional speaker would giving the same keynote over and over again.

Good stuff!!

Jessica

@blogging4jobs

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