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Social Media After Death of Vine

Social Media Phase II

Twitter is in trouble. No one rode up on a white horse. No buyer was found. Twitter is going through pain including layoffs and reducing their reach, grasp and vision. Vine is a casualty of Twitter’s need to tighten belts and reduce overhead. What does Twitter pain mean for social media marketing?

The social media balloon had to lose air. The social media marketing space is too crowded, value too dispersed and demands on marketers and publishers too complex, confusing and muddled. Demands on consumers and users are complex, confusing and overwhelming too. Pressure on both sides, consumers and publishers, mean the social media gold rush is over as something else begins.

Social Media Phase II

Vine won’t be the last casualty of the inevitable tool shakeout. Creating technology is expensive. Developing brands capable of winning customer, hearts, minds and loyalty is even more expensive. Read Mark Schaefer’s Content Shock.  Mark did the math. He realized the rush to create content meant a vicious shakeout. Content as a market making tool was killed by success.

Marketing and making markets are in a blender. Known things that worked and were understood are gone. Unknown things that may or may not work or even be here tomorrow rule a confusing, unsure and impossibly fast moving worlds where models explode, patterns lie and few known “rules”. “truths” or “sure bets” exist.

Embrace the Suck

Here’s how NPR explains “military speak”.

Warrior slang, however, has a peculiar appeal and influence. That’s understandable. Waging war is a risky, all-encompassing endeavor physically, emotionally, and psychologically. It displays humankind at its best and at its worst, and the warfighter’s slang reflects the bitter, terrible, and inspiring all of it. A quick scan of this dictionary illustrates the spectrum: disciplined bravado provides the glitz and glamour; earned camaraderie, the sincerity and warmth; irony, the realist’s edge; scorn, the punishing barb; and insistent vulgarity, a rowdy, leveling earthiness.

A little verbal bravado and swagger has genuine utility. Hollywood bravado is little more than chestthumping bluster, but seasoned vets know that disciplined bravado indicates confidence and courage. Physical and moral courage and the confidence they create are essential warrior virtues. But God—or the first sergeant—help the fake macho and especially the “REMF,” “fobbit,” or “suit” who talks the talk but hasn’t walked the walk.

At its core, warrior slang is a language of discipline and shared suffering, experiences that produce a tough human epoxy: the industrial strength social and emotional glue binding military comrades and building military units.

Warrior slang accepts suffering as inevitable. It also says, “Buddy, you ain’t in this alone.” Take the acronym “MARINES.” The wry definition is “Many Americans Running Into Never Ending S***.” (That addresses a “corps” identity issue.) The Operation Iraqi Freedom phrase “embrace the suck” is both an implied order and wise advice couched as a vulgar quip.

Prussian General Carl von Clausewitz went to war when he was 12 years old. Over the last two decades, critics have argued that his treatise On War is a bit dated in terms of theory. However, everyone with military experience agrees that Clausewitz understood “the suck.”

Web marketing and the military share things. No one shoots at Internet marketers but the “fog of war” applies. On the web nobody knows nothing and anyone who tells you different is trying to sell something. The web requires an “all in-ness” too. Visitors, customers, and partners can FEEL belief, presence, and commitment.

The opposite is also true. If you’re online more out of necessity than love you will be found out. On the web suffering is inevitable too. The web teaches many life lessons. Getting up after being knocked down over and over is what separates web marketing pros and everyone else. Other ways to distinguish pros from also-rans include:

  • Realization many “patterns” and “truths” are mirages and lies
  • Careful about hubris and ego because if there is truth it is NOW and HERE not yesterday and then
  • The web only has one time NOW and it’s mystery can’t be solved, harnessed or enslaved
  • Winning hearts minds and loyalty online is more about listening and creating community than talking and selling
  • Pros Embrace the Suck

Online the “suck” is knowing pain, confusion and dislocation is inevitable. Winners don’t try to solve the problem. Like artists, web marketers learn to surf, accept and build upon instead of know, judge and tear down. Whatever is happening is what needs to be built upon. Vine is dead. Other social tools will die too. Embrace the suck, move the best of your Vine videos to YouTube and move on. Social media marketing didn’t die, but the ride is going to be different, quieter and closer to what matters (one hopes).

Vine RIP you won’t be the last tool incapable of moving from “tool” to “community”. Not by a long shot.

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