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Craig Mikes’ 12 Step Social Media Detox Programme


Why Proof Advertising’s ECD thinks adland should follow him in his New Year’s resolution

Craig Mikes’ 12 Step Social Media Detox Programme

Hi, my name is Craig, and I am ‘human spam’.

Last year about this time, I penned a delightful little ditty on all the things in my advertising world I was thankful for and a few things I hoped for in the New Year. I can’t remember what those things were, but to my delight, LBB ran the drunken drivel. I was proud. So much so, I shared the article’s link on my Facebook page, and then to get my own virability up, I shared that link from my personal account to my company’s page. Our company Facebook page auto-posts to our Twitter account. And of course, I threw it up on my LinkedIn page to reach all my business contacts who might have missed it on my personal page. I’m sure I took a screen shot of the headline and Instagrammed it with some artful select-focus treatment as well. 

The point I’m making: I have a problem. I have become ‘Human Spam’.  I’m a digitally over-stimulated and socially obsessed metaphoric, black-skinny-jeans-wearing hipster, sharing, tweeting, shooting and reposting everything I see and do and every craft cocktail I drink.

I get my news from Twitter, my gossip from Facebook, my new biz leads from LinkedIn and my dates from Tinder. 

I art direct the garnish on my drinks. I check in to cool places on Foursquare, even if I’m really picking up laundry next door. I even jot down smart-aleck hashtags for possible use as later witticisms. 

So you see, I have a problem.

But it’s not my problem alone. Far too many agencies and brands these days have the same perception of social media. One timely Oreo post goes semi-viral, and now we all have calluses on our fingers from posting, checking, rechecking and editing our numerous social channels. We’ve gone from making ads and commercials to making ‘branded content’ for sharing.  No one thinks, plans or strategizes anymore, and people have stopped being creative. Instead it's all just reaction based on social calendars, making note of when National Sausage Day is so there's a Vine ready to tweet out via YouTube.  Social media channels are being ranked on their varied degrees of engagement for our clients based on their ‘social penetration needs’, not strategic or sales goals. 

So after much reflection and a messy bourbon-filled bender, I say our industry needs to go back to a time when we did what was right for our clients and their brands, and not just for their organic social reach numbers.

As for myself, this year, instead of resolutions, I’m on a 12-step program of social media detox. I’m going to do what I’ve always loved about our business: change the perception of a brand for the better using a good old-fashioned 300 dpi print ad and a :30 TV spot. Ah, antiquation never felt so good. 

As I sign off on this self-deprecating diary of an article without the hint of thought as to what social platform I’ll be posting it to, I bid you adieu and send wishes for a happy new year.

If you wish to check in on my progress as I wean myself off the masses’ new media, drop me a note on Twitter @craig_mikes or @proofadv. Find ‘craigmikes’ on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. Or even right-swipe me at 'fuzzy_navel' on Tinder. 

Craig Mikes - ECD/Principal of Proof Advertising, Austin, Texas

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