(The title of this post, “I ain’t leveraging shit” should be said in the voice of Tim Russ, who a lot of you may be surprised to know went on to play Tuvok on Voyager. I can tell you that fact because it’s become pretty evident I will never date or sleep with another woman in my life, so I have no problem outing myself here as someone who used to watch Voyager but preferred Deep Space Nine.)
I’m having a lot of fun watching how the marketers are reacting to “Social Media Is Bullshit“. The people who were called out in it have gone very quiet, more or less in the hopes that the book will go away. Jay Rosen, whose oft-repeated lie that blogs helped “kill” newspapers, which I debunk on page forty, was at it again this weekend using the same lie debunked in the book in a piece that ran on Business Insider.
So, it’s business as usual for these people.
Some marketers, or wannabe marketers, got extremely butthurt leading them to conclude funny things like “Well this is the advice I give corporations but because B.J. said it, the book is for idiots.”
Others have turned around and said they agree with me, or agree with 95% of what I have to say. My issue with this is that, if they agree with me, why are they saying that now and not any time in the past three years when I started working on “Social Media Is Bullshit”?
It’s suddenly convenient for you to admit that most of what you do is bullshit? C’mon.
Then there are the folks who love the book in the marketing community because they get it. I’m extremely surprised by the existence of these people, but they make up the majority. The response among them has more or less been, “SOMEONE SAID IT OUTLOUD!”
Finally, there’s the crowd I want to talk to you about today. Ok, it’s not really a crowd as much as it’s a handful. But they raise an annoying point I want to put a stop to, mostly because you can tell they haven’t read the book, but also because it’s 100% Grade A bullshit.
“You’re leveraging Twitter ergo you use social media”.
1. “Social Media” is not a thing. It’s a made up term coined by the Asshole Based Economy to repackage and sell stuff the Internet already does.
2. Most of you know by now, that the “leveraging” is simply not the case. (And if you think having 700,000 Twitter followers drove sales of the book, you’re also wrong. Appearing on CNN and CNBC did, Twitter did virtually nothing.)
The way I use Twitter is pretty straight-forward: I’m bored. Since 2001 I’ve been writing down silly things in a notebook that I used to carry around with me. I only recently stopped doing this after I got divorced and lost a few of them.
Back in 2007 I started posting these silly things on Twitter because I believed the social media hype like everyone else. And then after the breast cancer tour, which is where I came to the realization that I and thousands of others had been sold a myth, I decided to keep the Twitter account, but only for my own amusement.
And so what you see on there is (rarely) something serious. It’s usually stuff like me live tweeting the incident last night involving a pretty girl who goes to SUNY Canton and the Border Patrol fouling up my plans to talk to her. Those tweets were done because I was frustrated but also I was amused by the situation. Writing them down is like a form of therapy. The fact they’re on Twitter is totally inconsequential. It doesn’t matter if anyone sees them. They’re not written for other people.
I just like using Twitter because the character limit forces me to be funnier and more economical when it comes to my choice of words, which is important for a lot of comedians out there.
I think what keeps me on Twitter at this point is inertia, not a belief that it’s going to help me in some way. I’ve been doing it for six years now. It’s a hard habit to break, especially because I no longer have the small notebooks with years worth of jokes in them.
But as far as those 700,000 followers go, I already laid out on CNBC that I didn’t earn any of them beyond the 3,000 I had before the start of the breast cancer tour. And of the followers I have now, up until I started doing television appearances, about half of them were either inactive or spam.
So if you apply what I said in Social Media Is Bullshit, which is that a lot of them don’t log in every day or even every week, and of those that are active, far fewer are American, and of those American, even fewer still produce the bulk of tweets that are sent, there’s not a lot of people really following me, which is how I like it.
Although a lot of us may be “aware” that Twitter exists, not as many people use it as Twitter corporate would like you to think or the advertisers and partners like WWE and NBC who are giving Twitter a lot of money have been lead to believe.
So if you look at the 55% of Twitter accounts that follow me that are real, let’s say 40% don’t log in once a day, and then you factor in how many are American use it (8% according to Pew use it every day) you start to realize just how small the “following” I have actually is.
And so the concept that I’m leveraging this tiny audience, which again has not bought the book in the numbers these folks might like you to think, is totally bogus.
The intention behind having the Twitter account in the first place is to amuse myself. If the small group of people following me like that, awesome! If not? That’s totally cool because that’s not why I use it.