The ultimate list of 20 worthy social media rants

social media rants

By Mark Schaefer

I always urge people to bring their own story into their social media content. I try to do that as best I can.

Sometimes I’m happy.

Sometimes I’m bemused.

And sometimes I’m just amazed by the stupid stuff I see around the web.

Alas, today is one of those days. I’m not cranky often, but when I am, it helps to just write it all out. Simmer down now y’all. It’s ranting time.

At least once a week I see a social media guru arguing that ROI can mean something other than money. “Oh there are lots of different ROIs.” No. If you don’t understand that ROI is strictly a business financial term — and ONLY a financial term — you have no place being in business. I’m embarrassed that this is still a discussion point among online marketers. There are lots of ways to measure success, but there is only one thing called “ROI.”

I saw a banner ad on Facebook for a training program: “How to use Twitter hashtags to drive massive sales.” #NoWay #GurusRunAmok

social media rantsI HATE stock photos. Come on folks, there are so many free or low-cost photo resources out there. Here is the message you send when you use clip art on your content: “Even I don’t care.” Nobody believes your company is filled with perfect, multi-cultural employees who jump in the air when something goes right. #ClipArtKillsBabySeals

Headline rant: “Podcast #56: Law of Attraction” … Does anybody really care this is episode 56? Is that the most important information you can deliver in that precious headline space?

Faux Pro — If you send me an email asking for advice on setting up a blog or how to start a podcast, it is probably inappropriate for you to claim a title of “social media expert.” #ThisHappens

Put Gary on pause — We need to stop using Gary Vaynerchuk as the case study for everything. It’s the Zappos Syndrome. Every company thought they could be Zappos and this was the case study in every social media book for five years. But to be Zappos, you have to be Zappos. You have to possess their singular culture and leadership. Similarly, nobody can duplicate Gary, nor should they try. He is an outlier, not really how the mainstream works. I don’t think we should necessarily take our cues from the most extreme data point in the sample set. He is the LeBron James of social media.

Faux outrage on Facebook — I hate it when people try to be more outraged about some social issue than the next person as a way to stand out. You’re part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Hating haters gonna hate. There seems to be a theme out there conditioning people to think that a dissenter is a “hater.”  I simply cannot stand the phrase “haters gonna hate.” What you’re really saying is that I am against anybody with an opinion different from mine. Dissent is a gift, not hate.

Too many people are worried about who’s on a list, or who’s verified, or whatever. Who cares? Really. How does this affect you IN ANY WAY? Stay centered my friends. You have no competition. Own your power.

A lot of people ask me how they can be like me.  If you’re 24 and just graduated from college, you can’t be me. But you can be the very first you. That’s so much better than being me. I mean, look at this hair …

social media ranrts

Bed head for the win

Hair today, gone tomorrow > I spent three weeks working on an epic blog post. Stuck it on Facebook. Five likes. Two comments. Posted a picture of myself with bedhead on Facebook. 320 Likes, 92 freaking comments. There’s a lesson there somewhere.

If anybody uses “easy” and “marketing” in the same sentence, run away.

The human red flag. True story. Dude posts story about his kids on Facebook. Says “to see what happens next, follow me on Snapchat.” Pimping your kids to help you get more Snapchat followers is desperate. This is a symptom of many people trying to make a name for themselves on the web — you’re trying too damn hard and you’re way too self-promotional. Success is really this simple: Be nice. Be helpful. Do good work. The rest will follow.

The lamest call to action: “Let me know if I can help you.” Fifty times a week I get some message on LinkedIn or Twitter saying “hello” and “let me know if I can help you …”  Will that EVER result in a phone call? Do your homework. What do I do? What do you do? Where is the compelling synergy? Get Off My Lawn.

When you are your own hero. Please stop quoting yourself on your own posts. Have some dignity.

Shut it. People who pose all the time with their mouths open creep me out. What are you so shocked about? Someday an alien civilization will discover our digital record and find all these people with their mouths hanging open in shock. They will conclude that we were a civilization in a constant state of terror.

Power to the Pubic. A sharp-eyed reader caught a typo in My book KNOWN. Instead of “public speaking,” in one place I have “pubic speaking.” Now why would you assume that is a typo? Maybe I MEANT to say pubic speaking. In fact, I LOVE pubic speaking. I do it as much as possible.

Live culture — Zuckerberg predicts that by 2020, 90 percent of the content on Facebook will be live video. Based on what I see so far, I can’t imagine anything more boring. I hope he develops a remote to go with it. Wait. There’s a business idea!

Joel Comm

Joel Comm with his poop doll “Charmin.”

Worthy shit. A little pile of poop is the second most-used emoji in the world. We are making fun of an innocent little pile of poop. They are actually making a movie out of this. Years from now we will be shamed by the poop rights movement. The poop movement. Get it? Oh never mind.

Inbound gone mad — When I teach at Rutgers, my students are typically senior- or mid-level marketing managers at big companies. I always ask them: How many have heard of content marketing? Maybe a third. How many have heard of inbound marketing? Maybe two people out of 30. A good reality check. There’s still a lot more to marketing than blog posts and infographics.

bitmoji-20160628170620OK rant over. Tomorrow I will be happy again. : )  What are you ranting about?


SXSW 2016 3Mark Schaefer is the chief blogger for this site, executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions, and the author of several best-selling digital marketing books. He is an acclaimed keynote speaker, college educator, and business consultant.  The Marketing Companion podcast is among the top business podcasts in the world.  Contact Mark to have him speak to your company event or conference soon. 

All posts

The Marketing Companion Podcast

Why not tune into the world’s most entertaining marketing podcast!

View details

Let's plot a strategy together

Want to solve big marketing problems for a little bit of money? Sign up for an hour of Mark’s time and put your business on the fast-track.

View details