There’s too much content, and there are too many social media platforms to publish and consume that content on.

If you’re in marketing, you’ve likely heard of content shock.

This is a term coined by Mark Schaefer from a  post he wrote a couple years ago that ignited a lot of conversation.

He defines content shock as happening

“when exponentially increasing volumes of content intersect our limited human capacity to consume it.”

“An ever increasing amount of content is competing for an ever decreasing attention span.”

Can we say the same thing about the growing numbers of social media platforms?

Social Media Burnout.

I wrote Do You Want to be Self-Employed or More Employed after joining i24 Call Management Solutions as Director of Digital Marketing.

The post was about my decision to hang up my social media consulting hat to once again become an employee.

Among the many reasons was burnout from having to research, experiment and adapt to new social platforms.

Too many choices can paralyze us.

The overwhelming number of platforms has many companies either hesitate to start a campaign or jump in too quickly and fail.

There is no shortage of “tips” available to help companies navigate Social Media. 

But these tend to be tactical tips such as:

  • Be on the platforms your clients are using
  • Pay attention to quantity and times of your posts
  • Always add images


What needs to be clearer is the answer to “how can social media make us more money?”


Why do businesses fail at Social Media?

I had the pleasure of interviewing Mark Schaefer on my Ray2Go Show.

Mark is the author of The Tao of Twitter, Return On InfluenceBorn to BlogandSocial Media Explained: Untangling the Most Misunderstood Business Trend and his most recent, Known

On the latest show, I asked Mark several questions about his book, Social Media Explained.


Social Media Explained Book

Why did he think businesses had such a hard time with social media.

“Every time I walked into a company, I faced the same questions:

How do we measure this?

What’s the ROI?

How do we get started?

What do we do about negative comments?” 

There are many senior and middle-level executives, as well as business owners, who know they need to understand this, but haven’t the time nor ability to get a handle on this whole “social media” space”. 

Is this social media failure shared by Fortune 500 and mom & pop stores alike? 

“Many of the benefits of social media are qualitative not quantitative.”- Mark Schaefer

Building relationships and communities are the qualitative benefits that work well for small business.

But how do you put that on a spreadsheet, on a pie chart?

Big businesses are run from spreadsheets.


To succeed, they have to embrace the mindset that there are new ways to measure ROI.

“If they’re disappointed with what they’re seeing in their data, it’s because they’re asking the wrong questions.”

They need to know what they’re doing in social media and where social media fits into the marketing mix.

Small businesses have an advantage because they are more nimble and flexible. They can respond to and build on these social connections. 

“It’s difficult to scale “human”; it’s difficult to scale authenticity in these big brands.” 

…And the advantages of bigger businesses?
There seems to be a correlation between companies that are very successful and ones that do a good job on social media.

Take, for example, Coca-cola, McDonald’s, Nike and Chipotle.

Chipotle kills it with content marketing. 

“To be first, be overwhelming & have a competitive advantage. Own your niche.” ~ Mark Schaefer

How should you approach social media marketing?

You have to start with the foundation of a business and marketing strategy. 

“Finish this sentence. “Only we…””

Companies need to ask themselves: 

“What is our story?

What is our point of differentiation?

What do they love us?

Why do they buy from us?

What’s our customers unmet and unserved needs?

And what is our place in that ecosystem?” 

If you can answer “only we…” and get leadership to embrace this is a unified way, your social media program reveals itself.

What role does Content play in social? 


Content shock Mark Schaefer

“Content is the fuel of what makes social media marketing successful.” – Mark Schaefer

Blogging, podcasting, video, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, etc. are the sources of that fuel.

You have to look at content strategically. The amount of content on the web will grow by 600% in 6 years! 

Customers will use filters.

Google and Facebook are already doing that for us with its algorithm changes.

So why do we fail at “social”?… 

…because companies are putting all the emphasis on “content”.

They’re not putting enough emphasis on igniting the content by making it personal and compelling.

Content needs to be moved, shared and seen.

What are your challenges with social media?