Lost in Translation


In my recent employ as a marketing communications representative I have found it necessary to manage my employer’s social media channels. The issue of effective content marketing aside (a topic I will most certainly post on at some point), I have found that the most asinine facet of social media is the terminology. Like, share, favorite, boost, engagement, talking about, blah blah blah…what are you trying to say to me social media!? I mean, I’m looking for all of the same basic information for every channel but you keep using different terminology.

The thing is that while all of these various social media channels end up boiling down to a whole for our business purposes they are also competing products and therefore must differentiate…to the chagrin of all us marketing communications people. I personally couldn’t give two squirts if there was only 1 social media. That would in fact make my life all warm and fuzzy. They all are being used to achieve the same goal as far as I’m concerned but as products have different target audiences it follows that there are going to be different mediums in which to reach those audiences. Looking to sell to businesses? Use LinkedIn. How about men and women between 30 and 50? Facebook is your best bet. I’ll concede that different demographics show a preference to particular social media but why in the good lord’s name must they all use different terminology as it relates to quantitative figures? And don’t even get me started on how incomplete analytics are for most social media other than facebook. That is a WHOLE other tantrum.

I put it to you social media, why could you not just keep it to 1 language? It really wouldn’t be that hard. Your function is what differentiates you. Not your terminology. The only people who care about your wonderful metrics and statistical value are poor mortals like me who need to be able to derive insights from them. If you think about it keeping your terminology the same across the board would make it easier for people like me to be able to make comparisons between your various forms.

…Well that’s a thought…I mean if….wait….now I see…Oh yeah….I am soooo on to you social media.

You don’t want me to be able to compare you easily because that would make it way too simple for me to see what form is the most effective. You intentionally keep things complicated to keep me in the dark. Well social media – I have seen the light. I have seen the light! And it burns…IT BURNS I TELL YOU! It burns because there is nothing I can do about it. Unlike in the world of prime time television cop dramas knowing the master plan doesn’t mean anything will get solved.

No matter that keeping consistent terminology between all social media could potentially lead to a linkage of sorts between all forms creating an indelible cross promotional relationship (and breath). You just wanna keep playing king of the hill.

You win this one social media.


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