It’s time to re-think your approach to Social.

I spent a day with some of the brightest young minds in advertising last week.

The similarities

All were fabulous, capable, intelligent, hard-working ‘go-getters’. All were running some of the better social media campaigns in Australia.

Some were from boutique agencies doing really cool stuff, others had evolved to freelancers, some were in-house marketers, while others were clinging lovingly to the structural ropes at some of Australia’s biggest agencies.

All were social coordinators, social leaders, the agencies’ ‘social experts’.

Yet, throughout the course of the day, I felt myself go through all the stages of grief.

I took the next day off to get my head back into production mode and (as luck would have it) I was surrounded by social marketing and social media practitioners who also shattered my new media soul into a thousand pieces when they started telling me How2 Social through buzz phrases, which included (but painfully was not limited to) ‘personal brand’ in the same breath as ‘authenticity’ and ‘social measurement’ as Facebook metrics.

Over two separate days in two completely different environments, my grief was confounded.

Why?

In the short space of two days, it became abundantly clear that current practice is merely a hybrid of the platform ‘certified’ sales pitches. A regurgitation and adaption of the papers we were writing and the presentations we were giving back in 2012…

OVER FIVE YEARS AGO!

(and yes, I know I’m screaming, but seriously…?!)

Discussions around social media have traditionally been driven by the available technology, or social community management issues that have arisen through the event of participation.

Traditionally, advertising and media agencies have worked behind a thin veil of creative agency presenting ‘the solution’ as the requisite bridge between product/ sterile company and desired consumer.

Sadly however, a large percentage of Advertising, PR, Communications and Media Agencies are entrenched in outdated business practice when it comes to production for and distribution on social.

If these company representatives are anything to go by, even the agencies who have re-badged their Art Director to Creative Lead are missing the point somewhat entirely!

This only compounds my grief as Australian agencies should be leading the global creative charge in this space (and no don’t point me to the self-congratulatory industry statues corporations spend millions to win each year).

Creatives have the opportunity to lead, rather than dwell.

Directors have the opportunity to integrate and showcase, rather than merely direct traffic.

Oh.. and to the Preditors (the hybrid being that is both producer and editor) let’s make a concerted effort to lose the jargon.

It’s not about what you call yourself, it’s what you say and do that drives impact.

Introducing my digital baby

As many of you know, last year I earned the privilege of parenthood after giving birth to my first child.

What you may not have been aware of… I also birthed my digital baby: How2 Social – a social education and mentoring platform.

My intent: Give everyone, no matter what their current skill set online, the opportunity to social with confidence.

In the year since, I have been splitting parenting duties between my now toddler and evolving the How2Social business concept while also setting myself the task of getting down and dirty in the back end of the build.

Admittedly, it has taken me a lot longer to get to this point than I originally thought it would, but that in itself has been an invaluable learning for me as well!

Which is why I am so thrilled to be able to introduce you to How2Social.com

Think of it as a concierge for social.

Built for the express purpose of enabling people of all ages and ability in and around social and digital media technology.

In the original stage we are launching with four distinct programs. They are:

  1. The Art of Social Parenting – the parents and guardian’s toolkit for managing their digital families.
  2. Social Business – for small and large organisations developing / refining their social communications.
  3. Social Me – for individuals developing your personal brand online.
  4. Social Sports – the pro athletes and coaches toolkit for building value through social communications.

Each of them are umbrella programs for an array of content specific, social media enabling, practical How2guides with the added and personalised benefit of a dedicated mentor to help you build your skill and confidence while building your brand for personal and/ or professional use.

It was important to me to develop a quality and individualised solution for people to learn and evolve their skill set in a ‘safe place’.

That’s why at How2Social we don’t mass produce solutions.

Each program is specifically tailored to the individual and very specific needs of members wherever they find themselves on the journey that is social.

Membership is free and the programs are intentionally affordable.

When you have a moment, please visit www.how2social.com and if I can assist you in anyway, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Additionally, if you know anyone who would benefit from How2Social education products and mentoring services, then please forward them my details and ask them to contact me directly.

e: tiff@how2social.com      t: @TiffannyJunee    li: tiffannyjunee

Thank you so much for taking the time to be here with me and celebrate the latest stage of my social technology journey. I am very grateful for your continued support.

xo Tiff xo

 

Awkward Social Media Moments

Relax. We all have them.

Awkward Social Media Moments (ASMM) are inevitable.

Especially, when most of us can only stumble around the 17 year old web (the World Wide Web was commercialised in 1995) as toddlers, or tweens at best.

Facebook is a social utility (just like gas and water?) that enables people to connect with friends (strong ties), strangers (weak ties) and everyone else ‘online’ who dares.

Unlike my current utilities providers, Facebook is constantly refining its product and service offering to community members via ‘new releases’ or user interface updates.

Most of us turn a blind eye and deaf ear to these changes. That is until we notice a new tab, or that our profile looks different and we can’t find that short cut button or right click where we use to.

So we grumble and moan for a post or two, but then continue with our daily business online unperturbed.

However, with the increased frequency of user interface updates of high-use and high profile online platforms, like facebook, come increased opportunities for ASMM, TAT’s (Troll Attacks on Twitter) and moments of SMR (Social Media Remorse).

Such was my experience recently…

The other day, a friend posted a video of his daughter on a swing. I made a comment on what I thought was his wall, however, I inadvertedly reposted his video onto mine.

I’m still not sure how I did it, but when I eventually realised what I’d done (a couple of days later!) = #AwkwardSocialMediaMoment.

You see, I’ve never met this particular child and there was no ‘reason’ to share the family movie to a wider audience. Thus my repost, simply didn’t make sense.

Not surprisingly, I facebook messaged my friend and apologised, explaining what and how it had transpired.

He’s a lovely guy and I’ve known him for over a decade, but is someone I see infrequently (beyond Facebook).

I knew (hoped) he’d be understanding (which he was). But this Awkward Social Media Moment (ASMM) got me thinking…

  1. What is the impact of strong/ weak ties (social capital) in resolving/ minimising potential conflicts via misunderstanding in this pseudo-private Facebook environment?
  2. How often do user interface upgrades impact public communications/ interactions in social media communities?
  3. What is the scope for and impact of misinterpretation in ASMM?

This is especially interesting for me (Governance), given neither novices or seasoned users (who are usually guiding individuals, brands and businesses) are immune to being ‘caught’ by tech changes.

So thinking practically, how can you manage/ resolve / insulate the individual, team, brand or business?

In looking at possible (plausible) practical solutions, does a communications (control) system need to be introduced (beyond the charter and legal obligations of big business) to better educate / update online users? Will this satisfy any potential breeches of both private,  personal and public communications? Is the current system enough? What is the current system? #WatchThisSpace.

For the moment, I’m still comfortable with my original hypothesis pertaining to the bastardisation of the word ‘expert’:

There is no such thing as a social media expert.

While some of us are a little more knowledgeable in this space than the majority (probably because we also ‘live’ online), beyond the clever souls who create the actual social technology platforms, online, as in life, everyone makes mistakes – some inevitable, most avoidable.

Either way, at the end of the day, ALL ASMM are an opportunity for learning.

So, get up, dust yourself off, learn from your failures and keep practicing The Art of Social! 🙂

Age has nothing to do with it

A former colleague of mine sent me this clip today. It’s from the UN Climate conference in Rio in 1992, yet it’s message still resonates today.

How far have we come really? How much of what she raises remains a concern in the present day?

We place ourselves at the top of the food-chain. I guess that’s our inherent arrogance, afterall, what other animal destroys the natural environment on which it depends for survival?

And how efficient or effective are the pyramids of power, western-style democracies have created in institutions such as the United Nations and World Bank?

Let’s be honest, if they were a .dot com in the 90s they both would have been long gone.