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Social Media Week Kills the Social Media Star

Social Media Week is always a good time, but amidst this year’s usual bottle popping and network-y debauchery I spied one very serious message: Social is over.

Before you call me crazy, let me explain:

Everyone’s Doing it

First, an infographic that visual.ly pieced together from various statistics around the Web. Among the most interesting:

  • Over 30% of the world’s population is on the Internet
  • Over 80% of Americans use at least one social network
  • Over half of those users follow a particular brand
  • Facebook users alone share 4 billion times per day

It’s Automatic

Next, digital agency Beyond surveyed 2,000 social media users in the U.S. and UK about their sharing habits. The survey found that frictionless (a.k.a. automatic) sharing — Spotify songs shared to Facebook, for example — is on the rise. Numerically speaking, 67% of social media users have allowed an app to post to their profile without them doing more than listening to a song or reading an article.

Nobody Cares if You’re “Kind of a Big Deal”

Third, Facebook Global Brand Manager Paul Adams used his stage time to talk about why “influencer” is one of his least favorite words. It turns out that the number of followers you have doesn’t carry much weight, as every person can be influential given the right context.

“The people who have disproportionate influence over us are our closest friends and family,” he said. “They are the people who drive almost all of our purchase decisions. Many studies have shown that there’s very little correlation between how many connections someone has, and how influential they are.”

Social Media. Social Business. Business.

Add these up and Social isn’t over because nobody likes it anymore — Social is over because it’s becoming so finely ingrained with everything we do that it’s well on its way to no longer being a separate entity.

I think Robin Houghton (@robinhoughton) put it best: “In the future, we won’t be talking about social media or social business, just business. I’ve believed this for a long time: the job of social media specialists is ultimately to put themselves out of a job. Except of course, nothing will happen overnight. Euan Semple said he thought we were 5 – 10 years off the point when the majority of businesses ‘get’ social. That’s actually a very long time on the spectrum of technological change, but not in terms of people and business culture change.”

Thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments section below.