Social media and control

I have taken a technological stroll into the past. My DVR stopped working. Its a hardware glitch and needs to be replaced. So, I have been forced to watch The Amazing Race and Bizarre Foods in – horrors – real time!

No longer can I force my cable TV to succumb to my whims. I have gone from being in control to being controlled. Forget that I have to sit through commercials or can’t pause something when I’m interrupted. Those are minor inconveniences. Now, I have to adjust my schedule to fit theirs.

If I could unlike this real life page I would.

We have all become accustomed to controlling our media environment. We listen to what we want – when we want it. We talk to those we are interested in and ignore the rest. And, because our attention spans continue to shrink we have less tolerance for things that fail to pique our interest.

This is the essence of how social media marketing works. We(you) are in control of what we see, what we respond to and what we share.

If you have a small business or a non-profit you absolutely, positively must grasp this fundamental concept before you even begin to place your brand or mission on social media.

You can no longer talk at me. You can no longer dictate the terms of the conversation. And, you can no longer ignore my responses.

If you are contemplating the move into social media…well, stop contemplating. You have no choice. You HAVE to be here. You must have some visibility in this space because everyone you care about – customers, donors, patrons, volunteers – are here.

But we are doing it on our terms. It’s our party and we decide if you’re on the guest list.

You can’t swing a dead cat around cyberspace without hitting a blog post talking about how ‘content is king’. Hell, I’ve written several posts about that very subject. But the true royalty of content begins with the understanding that you are not in control of any conversation. You are on the on ramp of the information superhighway (when was the last time you heard that term) and are trying to merge into the traffic flow.

To put a finer point on it – it is up to you Mr. Brand Developer, Ms Marketing Specialist to determine what your audience cares about. What is it you can say that makes them give a darn. They won’t remember you unless you give them something of (perceived) value.

You need to research. You need to listen. You need to look at it from their perspective – not yours.

Social media is marketing anarchy and the sooner you realize it the better equipped you’ll be to use it to your advantage.

Now, if you’ll excuse, I think Andrew Zimmern is about to eat a bug.

Your thoughts?

Steve Allan, Social Media Specialist



About Steve Allan

I am a Social Media specialist uniquely focused on the management, messaging and marketing of social media platforms for non-profits and small businesses.
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3 Responses to Social media and control

  1. Doug says:

    I want to control the shows that are produced on TV. Your post made me realize I would love to see something called, “The Bizarre Race” and also, “Amazing Foods.”

    I’m envisioning pigmies on pogo sticks, the world’s tallest couple on tricycles, and champagne-infused truffles in Paris.

    I’ll buy you a new DVR if you’ll get my ideas to whoever runs NBC these days. Come to think of it, Les Moonves at CBS probably needs a new show for Charlie…

  2. Pingback: Social media and control « « Big Engine Media Big Engine Media

  3. Tom says:

    I’ll have what Doug’s having… (You know they consider him a genius in France!) 😉

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