Is social media really that important?

Social Media seems to be a dark art. Or rather a bubble within an echo chamber… listening to their own voices.

But here is a ‘fact’.

“Debenhams, Mothercare, Jamie’s Italian and Toys R Us are going/have gone bust because they failed to embrace social media.” As reported by the MD of a large social media agency at a conference I was at last week.

What world do these people live in?

All these slowly dying/dead business have been in a car crash in slow motion. Nothing to do with social media.

The reality is that these businesses had the wrong model for the wrong people at the wrong time. Retail is dying, the High Street is dying and there are not the volumes or profitability in these businesses that there were, say, 20 years ago.

So, what’s it got to do with their lack of social media activity? The answer is diddly squat. Nothing. Rien. Nada.

I do not dispute that these businesses each face a brick wall in their own way. I do not dispute that they have little or no social media activity. There is a correlation; the two happened at the same time. But, to claim there is a cause-and-effect relationship between the two is quite beyond me.

To follow their logic, had these brands been active in social media then they would have averted the car crash. Does that mean that small local DIY stores or local pubs or the Labour Party will recover from their deep-rooted, fundamental problems if they do social media??????

I know that social media is good, but it isn’t that good.