Since so many blogs have called for the death of everything from press releases to the PR industry-at-large and embargoes, I would like to jump on the bandwagon and begin 2009 by calling for the death of social media tools.
Allow me to clarify: I am NOT calling for the death of social networks, or any kind of communication on the social web, but what I AM specifically calling for the death of the use of the word “tool” as it pertains to social media outreach for business.
I began thinking about this awhile back and included it in a comment on Dave Fleet’s very smart post: Social Media Outreach Won’t Work for Everyone.
From my comment to Dave:
More than a tool, lately I’ve begun using the “instrument” analogy to describe social media communication. In the right hands, social media outreach is beautiful music… in others it’s a painful cacophony of noise.
If we need a metaphor, doesn’t it seem more appropriate to think of social media outreach as a musical instrument as opposed to just another tool?
Monkeys can use tools, but it takes an artist to be able to appreciate the subtle nuance of bringing humanity into our communication to encourage the growth of real relationships without the luxury of a face-to-face introduction.