Cringe-inducing social media cliches

Yeah–you know what I’m talking about. Those phrases you hear over and over again. The ones that make you curl your toes, and not in a good way. The ones that you can’t help turning to the person next to you and crinkling your nose. The ones that make Maddie and I giggle inappropriately and then turn bright red when everyone looks at us.

What are the phrases that make you cringe? Here are the ones that get me every time. (And if you catch me saying them, please scold me. I’ll deserve it.)

  • 17th AugustContent is king. Really? Still? This is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot. Let me just come right out and say it. Content is not king. It’s not even queen. Those honorifics should be reserved for the persons choosing to consume (and maybe even share) or ignore the content. Maybe we should start saying that content is a really big, juicy mutton leg that we hope the king and queen will find worthy of their table. Not as catchy?
  • You no longer have control. Oh please. Sure you do. You have lots of control over your brand and your messages. Of course, you’re publicly sharing that control with your community, so you need to approach things a bit differently. And messing up can get messier than ever. But at the end of the day, you’re not so catastrophically powerless as some might lead you to believe. Especially if you have a thick skin and passionate champions.
  • It’s about viral marketing. Uh…good luck with that. I’ll spare you my viral marketing rant, as I’ve already declared that viral marketing is neither viral nor marketing. Discuss amongst yourselves. And read why Brian Solis doesn’t believe in viral marketing for good measure.

I have more, but I’ll spare you. Besides, I really want you to throw down and comment with the phrases that you find most cringe-inducing. I promise to be suitably cowed, in the case it’s a phrase I use all the time.


maddiegrant April 7, 2010 at 3:12 pm

Socialfishing:: Cringe-inducing social media cliches

VBoynton April 7, 2010 at 3:18 pm

RT @maddiegrant: Socialfishing:: Cringe-inducing social media cliches

joerominiecki April 7, 2010 at 4:06 pm

This should be fun. RT @maddiegrant: Socialfishing:: Cringe-inducing social media cliches

EurekaJanet April 7, 2010 at 3:37 pm

RT @SocialFishFood Social media cliches-is content really king? — SocialFish

Eureka Janet April 7, 2010 at 11:40 am

I completely enjoy reading your Blog, Lindy…you’re just so…so…Transparent. *wink~!

social_medio April 7, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Cringe-inducing social media cliches

marcopolis April 7, 2010 at 4:06 pm

Cringe-inducing social media cliches Content CURATION is king. So there.

mycrowdca April 7, 2010 at 4:48 pm

RT @marcopolis – Cringe-inducing social media cliches Content CURATION is king. So there.

lindydreyer April 7, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Socialfishing: Cringe-inducing social media cliches

pbsenerchia April 7, 2010 at 5:11 pm

RT @lindydreyer: Socialfishing: Cringe-inducing social media cliches

Shannon Otto April 7, 2010 at 2:13 pm

I’m getting a little tired of hearing about the “next big thing.” I’m sure I’ve been guilty of saying something along those lines at some point, but not every tool works for every person, and, just like you can’t make something “go viral,” it’s difficult to predict what will take off and what won’t.

indie_preneur April 7, 2010 at 2:24 pm

So where does content fit into the royal family then? I agree it’s an oversimplification that content rules all and that creating great content is the only thing you should focus on, but without great content what do you have?

Great content ≠ successful business of course, but I know of few successful online businesses without great content.

indie_preneur April 7, 2010 at 6:26 pm

Cringe-inducing social media cliches —

_thinkdesign April 7, 2010 at 6:26 pm

Cringe-inducing social media cliches —

Jeff Korhan April 7, 2010 at 5:17 pm

Maybe not expressions, but my favs are ….”social media…expert, ninja, maven, guru”…. And, along with those are “how I….”

Coree Silvera April 7, 2010 at 10:42 pm

Oh we can go on for hours on this one. I understand that some of the buzz words are more than just buzz and really do mean something. But, now that they’ve been so overused they just don’t hit home anymore.

It’s like the first time you hear a song you like…you listen to it a few times, tell a few people about it, then the next thing you know EVERY time you turn the radio on that song is playing. You change the station and it’s playing there too. Everyone around you is singing or humming the tune.

Now you’re just irritated and refuse to like the song anymore because it’s overplayed and not so cool anymore. It really was a great tune, but the love affair is over.

Social media cliches have similarly lost their luster, no matter how true the sayings may be.

JasonVerhoosky April 8, 2010 at 2:48 am

RT @MarketLikeAChik: Top Cringe-Inducing Social Media Cliches – by @LindyDreyer [This is great, and so true!] ;)

DebWeinstein April 8, 2010 at 3:07 am

Top Three Cringe-Inducing Social Media Cliches » by @lindydreyer (punchbuggy no slugbugs!)

punch_bug April 8, 2010 at 3:24 am

RT: Top Three Cringe-Inducing Social Media Cliches » by @lindydreyer (punchbuggy no slugbugs!): Top Three Cringe-…

Lynn Morton April 7, 2010 at 11:59 pm

My two that just drive me crazy:

- When people say something is a game changer (because usually it’s not)

- When social media copy includes the words “Check out” / “Check this out” / “Check out this”, etc. Basically any combo that includes the words Check & Out.

I have personally banned these from my vocab. ;)

Great post per usual Lindy!

Scott Briscoe April 8, 2010 at 9:21 am

This is fantastic. Love the post, Lindy, except for, well, the part about content not being king. And having control. And viral marketing.

Content is king — just because it’s overused doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Sounds like you’re starting from an assumption of good content, but getting good content, whether you’re providing it yourself or just providing the space where it can happen–is really, really hard. And yes, there’s tons of good content out there, but there’s way more trash. If I were making up a statistic, which I guess I am, I’d guess there’s 1 piece of good content out there for every 100,000 pieces of trash.

Control — Ok, there’s a difference between “you no longer have control” and being “catastrophically powerless.” I really hope we keep saying this one in the association community, and perhaps nothing is more important. Associations have grown up by trying to control the message of their sector–they are the voice of the xx profession or industry. Most execs I know are still there, and they need to realize it’s different now. Maybe instead of “you no longer have control,” it should be “you don’t have the control you think you have.”

Viral marketing – eh, not a term I care that much about, but I couldn’t just hit two and let one go could I? Forget trying to create something that has that viral appeal/quality unless you’re in a sector where it could work. Rather, there is something to that whole IdeaVirus, Tipping Point stuff. Know who your maven/sneezers are — do things to keep them engaged and do things to try to broaden and diversify the number of people who fit that description.

doncooper April 8, 2010 at 4:37 pm

RT @MarketLikeAChik: Top Cringe-Inducing Social Media Cliches – by @LindyDreyer

knowledgeguide April 8, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Social media cliches-is content really king? — SocialFish

Maddie Grant April 8, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Oooh I have one I have one! “social media snake oil”. I mean, get over it, people. It’s an ecosystem. There’s messiness. Some consultants are better than others (and yes, some suck.) If organizations are not smart enough to check out the consultant’s body of work and references before they sign that dotted line, then they probably need to learn the lesson the hard way. Life is hard. Man up. :)

rrich April 8, 2010 at 9:17 pm

Tim Musgrove at #diginow says "Content is king" See for a different view.

YapStar April 8, 2010 at 9:17 pm

Tim Musgrove at #diginow says "Content is king" See for a different view.

christytj April 8, 2010 at 9:19 pm

Diff point of view – interesting RT @YapStar: Tim Musgrove at #diginow says "Content is king" See for a diff view.

Lindy Dreyer April 9, 2010 at 11:13 am

Wow – great comments, gang! It looks like there are a lot of “Content is King” fans out there. I’m going to stand by my statement. I think it probably deserves another blog post at some point, where we can all have a real debate.

I will say that every association I’ve ever worked with has great content–they don’t all have someone as awesome as Scott blogging and writing for their magazine, but they all have events with great content and fabulous conversations happening between members. Some have great research, some have whitepapers. The trick is capturing it and getting it on the web in a way that makes people pay attention. Thus the problem of content marketing is far more complex than just having great content. And I think the cliche “Content is King” can be misinterpreted by our folks who assume they can just check that point off the list.

Maggie McGary April 11, 2010 at 8:57 pm

I personally could not be tired of “Top X” lists–with “X” being 10, 25, 100 social media people, bloggers, tweeters, etc, etc. For every one of the same names on those lists there are probably a hundred awesome, smart, entertaining social media people/bloggers/tweeters who are never mentioned.

And count me in with the content is king thing–a lot of content out there is pure crap and it draws clicks/views/shares anyway.

Dave Lutz April 12, 2010 at 7:45 am

Lindy, nice “engaging” post! I’m with you on the content is king thing. It’s only King when the recipient learns and applies it. Lots of content goes in one ear and out the other. So that means, most content is not king, but rather meaningless filler.

RedToesMktg_LV April 14, 2010 at 4:12 am

Reading: Cringe-inducing social media cliches #socialfish

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