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National Hug Your Cat, Cognac, Cheese Day

Congratulations! We’re almost there. We didn’t set out on this mission. In fact, we were working towards a polar opposite result. That didn’t stop us. Regardless of all the warning signs along the way, we’ve almost completely depleted the value of social media for business. There’s a chance we’ve destroyed it for consumers, too. Time spent on social media is the lowest in six years. 

True to our nature, we wasted a disproportionate amount of time and money on our misguided agenda. And all of our hands are dirty in this scheme. Some more than others, but we’ve all played a part. So, who should we aim our pitchforks and wooden clubs at for being the largest contributor to mishandling this precious resource of a free and engaged consumer audience? If only it were that easy. 

It takes money to run social media platforms as big as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok. The staff, the servers, and the security. As consumers, we complain about Netflix’s monthly cost. 7 seasons of the Great British Bake Off and 9 Seasons of How I Met Your Mother are available on that platform. Blockbuster movies like Spider-man Across the Universe, Moneyball, and Everything Everywhere All At Once, which was too off-the-wall for me. There is all that great entertainment on there, yet we complain. I think the social media giants are wise in recognizing we won’t pay monthly for a commercial-free feed full of banana peeling hacks, Far Side comics, and lightly used joggers for sale. 

Ad Agencies, Digital Divisions of every media company, Consultants, Bloggers and Vloggers, and anyone adjacent to these businesses have steered their clients astray. To justify their fees, they established content calendars and minimum weekly posts. They created posts for every National Day Of Who Cares. Today, as I write this blog, there are 6 different National Days. 

  • National Hug Your Cat Day
  • National Clean Beauty Day
  • National Safe Day
  • National Cognac Day
  • National Cheese Day
  • National Old Maids Day

They created content to flood the feeds rather than sharing relevant items immediately before, during, or after they happen. Content Calendars became the digital embodiment of the Mr. Creosote Skit from Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life. Mr. Creosote orders and consumes everything on the menu, finally telling the waiter he’s stuffed. He can’t eat another bite. The waiter persists in offering him a mint. After all, it’s only wafer-thin. Our content calendars force-feed consumers to the point where content has no nutritional value. What’s one more post, reel, story? It’s only wafer-thin. If you can’t hear John Cleese saying that in your head, please pause before looking for it on YouTube. It’s hilarious but disgusting beyond measure.

Now, a glut of new social media management companies is entering the market. They’ve got Canva, and they don’t know how to use it. Luckily, Canva is full of trendy templates. Now, we have a feed full of copy-and-paste graphics to add to our copy-and-paste content. Don’t worry; the template is in your color scheme. It will be one of the most cohesive and curated Instagram profiles no one has ever viewed. We’ve heard of the 7 Deadly Sins. I’ve identified the 3 Deadly Cs, Canva, Color Scheme, And Curation. I use Canva. I’m not mad at it. It’s easy to navigate. It’s very intuitive. Using it devoid of any business knowledge, advertising experience, and consumer intelligence makes it costly to clients. 

What do we do now that we’ve content-calendarized our resources into oblivion? Is it too late? Have we jumped the shark like The Fonz in Happy Days? We have. Luckily, Happy Days lasted another 6 seasons after that episode aired. Ratings didn’t decline for another two years. The answer isn’t easy. We can put ourselves on a No National Day Diet. That is one very easy step in the right direction. 

We have to think beyond our calendars and our business pages. We have to think about the consumers. Do they care? Do a lot of them care? Is this interesting or actionable for them today? Are we in the moment, or are we trying to be the moment? Unless you are Kim Kardashian, the likelihood of you being the moment is zero.

We have to be ready to accept less. Whatever we used to receive on our social media channels is unlikely to return. We abused our privileges. We will have to spend more time and money in other areas to compensate for what we’ve lost. That’s ok. Everything has a season. We enjoyed it while it lasted. I can only hope we are a little more thoughtful with the next great opportunity. 

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