By Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk
by Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk, president
We spend a good deal of time talking about social media on our blog, and why professional services firms should embrace it as a marketing tool. We speak on the topic for young and old and participate as much as we can ourselves. We are constantly answering questions and combatting the eye-rolling and derision the various platforms get by skeptics. With all that said, we also understand that it takes time to get the most from social media efforts and it is tough to keep up and on top of all the changes.
Which brings me to my topic of the day: To all social media platforms, just stop for a while! Our post last week was about LinkedIn’s new publishing platform. A post that will go up later this week is about how Facebook is changing the look and content of their business pages. And now I see an article about how Twitter is hinting at eliminating @replies and #hashtags! For those who don’t know Twitter all that well, @replies are how you tie your post to other users to give them a shout out, thank them for sharing something you are retweeting or even just add them since you think they will be interested in your tweet. Without this feature, the people you mention would have no easy way of knowing you said anything to or about them. Hashtags are an easy and efficient way to tie your post to a general topic and make it searchable by those who are looking for related information. In their absence, searching Twitter for particular information would become much more difficult. Frankly, the hashtag and @reply are the two best tools on the platform and without them, I’m not sure how useful it would be.
Now, as you might expect, a comment like this from the platform’s head of news (what an odd title) sent the Twitterverse into a tornado of panic and outrage. Since these tools are pretty fundamental to the way the platform works, I imagine there’s little chance that they will be eliminated, and it might just be a way to get Twitter back into the above-the-fold news cycle.
Either way, I’m starting to feel that we need a self-imposed moratorium on wholesale changes to these sites. While I’m by no means the most rabid fan or comprehensively educated expert on social media, I consider myself a notch above the average bear in this department, and it’s getting to be too much for me to keep up with. And for those just getting started or trying to embrace social media, the constant change may be intimidating and disorienting enough to turn them off forever. Give us all a minute to breathe, please!
So who’s with me? Care to join me on my soapbox?