Wednesday, July 8, 2009

If you want to know what Social Media is - be nice or leave!

Are you a part of the passive massive? If you are reading this, then you're probably mediated and are a part of the social media landscape (and not among the passive massive), so this post should have some relevance to you. I came across this presentation on Monty C. Metzger's blog. It is a presentation by Faris Yakob, Chief Technology Strategist, McCann-Erickson in New York.

This 49 min. presentation has some heavy stuff and touches on many related topics, but I chose this quote to make my point, "people love brands, they are artifacts of culture, they are the things by which we define ourselves." I think this is such an accurate statement. Yes, in today's world, brands are artifacts of culture. What does this mean for how we understand and re-present our culture? This is a good discussion point. I do believe that our culture has to be the base of any entertainment economy that we can expect to grow in the Caribbean, which is the source of my obsession with how do we make it happen.

Faris points out that social media is not one thing but rather a collection of many things which makes it all the more interesting. Nevertheless, he emphasizes that all media is social. It worth pointing out too that his emphasis is on the emerging cultural practices and not what are the emerging technologies. This is big, because it means his message will be equally relevant to the folks who aren't among the tech savvy.

Here are some tips he gives for engaging social media if you are a brand:

1. listen
2. respond
3. nurture
4. create social objects - bring people together, give them something to do
5. be transparent
6. join the conversation

He concludes that we are all inherently social. It means then that how brands engage people through social media need to be carefully approached, because social media does not like ads that are about products, rather, interacting with people should be the main objective. Be nice or leave!

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