Revolt, Tweeters!

July 22, 2011 at 7:55 am 1 comment

My job requires me to know how to talk to people in social media channels, which is different from how you communicate over the phone or in email or on TV. I use social media channels socially to connect with friends, to keep in touch with my family, and to learn more about things that interest me. So you’ll pardon me if sometimes I just don’t want to talk about social media.

I’ve been thinking about the implications of that statement for a while, more specifically recently inspired by a post on Google+ from Don Martelli, and more so this morning when Sean Laurence emailed me and asked me what I thought of this:

I gave him my gut reactions. I wanted to put them here to encourage conversation around your thoughts of the video, and to acknowledge that I think I’m have my own personal social media revolution:

-When people hear “media” they think journalism, marketing… when my grandmother likes a photo on my Facebook wall, she doesn’t know or believe she’s engaging in social media. I think there’s a huge disconnect among everyday users between the words “social media” and “connecting.”

-It’s starting to get weird to me that people are fascinated by social media and how it works. Were we all this fascinated with how letter writing changed the world? Phones? I mean, probably, but I wasn’t around then. Maybe I’m just too close to it in my line of work but I’m starting to look forward to the day when we just stop talking about it and examining it and just DO it. *mails small royalty check to Nike*

-I don’t have an ereader (I could write for days on that subject and am working on a blog post in my head now about that in fact) so maybe I’m missing something but I don’t see how books on a reader instead of in my hand makes them more social. In fact, I lend books all the time, many of them with my own notes which I think is a much more social use of my media.

-The statistic that shows how many more Farmville farmers exist than do real farmers almost brings tears to my eyes. The implications THAT has on being able to feed a growing world population is heartbreaking. That there is more room and motivation to farm online than to actually create food is… I mean… I’m speechless.

-Using the tools of social media for marketing is different that direct mail, yes. But most marketers would agree that only focusing on one channel will yield crappy results no matter the channel. If you’re not thinking about the way that direct mail supports TV works with Twitter… you’re dead in the water. Focusing too much on social media and singling it out is starting to get dangerous. Let’s all just calm down and start using it.

All of that said, of course, my daily interactions fascinate me. It’s staggering to me that people want to have discussions with their bank, let alone on Facebook. A customer wrote a blog post yesterday about why he follows us on Twitter and not Wells Fargo. What? But the truth is if that post had been about why he prefers our TV ads to Ally’s, I would have been just as pumped (well, since I’m not personally responsible for the TV ads maybe not JUST as.) What I love the most about my job is not the social medianess of it, it’s the connecting. It’s getting to know people without having met them. It’s helping our customers, it’s changing lives. It’s living with PerkStreet pumping through my veins and stepping back to realize – holy crap, this is ostensibly a BANK I’m talking about here.

Sorry, tangent, but I think sometimes we think too much about what we’re doing. Social media is like driving: the more you learn it, the less you should think about it, but always keep in practice and stay current on any changing rules/laws/directions.

So what do you think? Are we in the middle of a revolution? Is there change happening now that we don’t see because we’re too busy spitting out statistics about change that’s already happened?  Is it time to shut up and do or is this constant state of exploration and dissection necessary to move forward?

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Entry filed under: career, marketing, ROI, social media.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Kristie Helms  |  July 22, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    It’s interesting to me that social media is just *now* being talked about. I’ve been involved in social media worlds since I was on an AOL dial-up in 1996.

    I actually hard-coded on a txt file, a chat room for an organization that advocated for people with disabilities. We did it so that a) people with disabilities could organize themselves and b) draw attention to our shiny new web site. So. Kind of… social media has been around for a decade and a half. And I think we’re just now *really* talking about it because it’s much more accessible, the platforms are more robust and the infrastructure is more stable than it was in 1996.

    And.. yes… we will all talk it to death until it becomes “how we do business” rather than “social media”. I’m also old enough to remember when email “came out” and the intense conversations about how to use *it*… not to use it… when to use it… who could use it… etc. Until one day. We were just using it. And not talking about using it.

    Reply

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