Social Media Has Become Passionless

I’m a real believer in that whatever you do, make it count.

Whether it is for you, your client, your friends, family or the communities you serve, if you don’t deliver the absolute best work you can, you are failing yourself.

Having a passion for the work you do is a powerful motivator in getting to a point where you can begin to achieve this.

Social media, and all the opportunities it brings, is a great connector of people who are passionate about causes, issues or brands. A like or a follow might look great to your client, but what it tells digital marketers is that they have found a new person who is keen to find out what you are saying.

Hopefully, they’ll like what you’re saying and share it with their friends.

What we need to continue to do, and I think that we as social media professionals are losing this, is to have a passion for the people we’re looking to connect our clients to.

We should be looking to get them thinking about why they want to follow a company, NGO or brand; what can we offer them that makes their online experience richer, or even better, leads to an offline action.

It’s very easy to retweet or share, we’re becoming hard wired into doing it without thinking, so our story needs to make people think and reflect.

We know that a link or a like is a virtual handshake that is ultimately trying affirm our identity as an individual; whilst we’re chasing this though, I think we find ourselves losing what makes social media great – the ability to make people talk with each other regardless of where they are in the world.

The Internet has democratised information exchange, but at the same time devalued the information being exchanged.

We need to re-assert the value of an online interaction and make it worthwhile for us, our clients, but most of all the folks we’re trying to reach.

Regaining passion for creating meaningful relationships with communities would be just the reboot we need.

UPDATE: Paul Sutton echoed these sentiments in a blog post a couple of days ago, which he kindly shared with me. I urge you to take a look.

Community Clash

Communtiy is an important word at the moment. There have been several posts on the topic, most notably from Maria Reyes-McDavis, Chris Brogan and Mack Collier.

Chris emphasises that “The difference between an audience and a community is which direction the chairs are pointing” and it’s a great metaphor.

What though if the chairs or not the same size or shape? It’s all well and good having the chairs facing the same direction, but if they are out of kilter, say some take up more space than others, that is also a barrier to community growth, development and formulating a glue like structure that will bind the different members of that community, no matter for how long.

In Lille over the weekend, we stumbled across a pub called the O’Scotland. This took us alightly aback and caused a bit of amusement, an Irish pub, adorned with the Guinness logos and the familiar black background and gold swirly writing.

For all we knew, the pub might have been run by someone with the surname Scotland of course. However, it tickled that this could be a mock Irish pub which is somewhat geographically confused, in the middle of a French city.

So which of those community chairs isn’t quite facing the right direction? The location of the pub, the name of the pub, the connotations that are derived from a pub calling itself ‘traditionally Irish’? The pub itself will have it’s own community, the guys who drink there regularly, and those who pop in every now and then, and parched tourists. Of those, which community chairs are a bit too big to fit, or so small they get hidden amongst the others, letalone which direction they are facing?

A uniform line of chairs facing the same direction is also restrictive to individuality. If each chair is exactly the same, where is the room to change and adapt whilst being unique within a community? This is what makes communities fascinating and demonstrates the power of the human condition.