The company I had a question for doesn't list contact information on its website, so I reached out on Twitter, where it has an active presence. Two days later ... silence except for what I suspect are scheduled posts all about them. Which isn't using social media very socially at all.
The "social" in social media is the key point. Social media is about connecting, conversing, and generating a feeling of community. The value isn't in using your account as a giant billboard, but in those two-way connections that used to happen in person at the corner store, in B2B groups, and throughout neighborhoods when we all did our business locally. I talk to you, you talk to me, we share back and forth, and we establish and maintain--and enjoy in the truest sense of the word--a lovely working relationship.
So here's my question of the day: How social is your social?
Maybe 10 years ago, I wrote a series of advertorials for a regional magazine--paid content, so the people who bought them each got an interview and a couple back-and-forths with the copy. Most folks were terrific. There was one guy, though, who was clearly Very Important, blowing off scheduled calls, peppering our interview with heavy, annoyed sighs and interruptions, and letting me know in no uncertain terms that he was way farther up the ladder than I'd ever be and that the article I wrote (from the interview we had) wasn't fit to line a bird cage, only not that nicely. You kid, outta my universe.
I'm now part of his targeted business audience. His ads go in the recycling bin, my business went to a competitor without hesitation, and friends and neighbors who ask for referrals hear both my experience with this guy and get the number of his competition. He recently tried to connect with me on social media. He doesn't remember me, but I vividly remember him.
There's an adage about learning someone's true colors by the way they treat the wait staff. I'd say it's true of the way someone treats anyone "beneath" them, and that it's pretty easy to napalm a bridge they never even considered might exist, but might want to cross someday. Character matters.
Truth: There is no fury like the angst of a teenage girl when Taylor Swift goes dark and cryptic on social media.
Corollary: I’m almost out of Aleve.
The start of school was pushed back a week in Maryland this year and I’d been wondering what my daughter would do to fill the free time until Labor Day. Leave it to Taylor Swift to take care of that with a few swift clicks of her (or her marketing team’s) delete key.
In case you have no teen girls around, the reigning queen of pop silently wiped her social accounts and website last week (Friday at 11:38 a.m., my daughter just said. Duh.). Her loyal Swifties, a vast and slightly obsessed legion, summarily—and this is a technical term–freaked out. When she started posting cryptic images of snakes a few days later, any semblance of composure was right out and the freak-out became a frenzy. Finally, confirmation that a new song was imminent (released last night—get on it!) and an album is on its way; #Reputation went viral within minutes.
There was no ad or a commercial or press release. Swift herself hasn’t been seen or said a thing. A few clicks, a carefully crafted image, and wow. Tsunami waves of press and attention and a guaranteed instant hit for her. This is how she does marketing and it’s genius, whether she dreamed it up herself or backed the team that did.
This, I think, is the new face of PR. It’s social, it’s buzzy, it’s miles from conventional, and it apparently works like little we’ve seen before. You might say it’s a revolution but what I want to know is, how are you going to ride this wave? How will your operation make its own noise?