I want you to pay attention. What I am going to say, I am going to say deliberately. This build up is important, so hold on because I need you to listen.
We need to stick together tighter than ever, digitally.
I have been included in a group that was created specifically for social media community managers. This community is full of the old guard of people you would expect — people who have run brands for some time and have been around for as long as the hashtag has… so not that long.
This group was created as a means of networking, I didn’t go to the event where they all met to discuss the pitfalls of the job. Just so you know, the pitfalls of the job are you (the general public), who fail to recognise that there is a human behind the Facebook page — a person who is probably cuddling themselves and weeping at the same time.
It was a great idea. A nice way for all of us to learn about projects and look out for each other. The social space is smaller than a medieval dungeon — it’s less treacherous yet you have to pay a troll toll to get any respect. After gaining this, you were offered a luxury should something go wrong on one of the brands that you are working on — they would have your back like a digital police force. Social media does run 24/7, a human being doesn’t — looking out for each other shouldn’t.
Very cleverly, we managed to create a modern mafia of digital relationships. Using influence to protect your brand, rather than expose it. We were living the life, tripping over puns and slapping each other on the wrists with ‘theirs’ and ‘theres’. We were drinking from a fountain of engagement and influence that only few could understand, well, because only a handful of people were seeing it — really.
Pulling together is not something new to us.
I ask that it happens more. Instead of slating the digital strategy in a public forum like a stoning, guide them. Push boundaries with each other — of course we need to tell each other when we are terrible, how do we improve? I might like it better if you mailed me rather hang me from the gallows of Twitter where my clients can see and the repercussions are my living.
Expose the people who are selling social ideas that are terrible through ideas that are brilliant.
“That’s a great idea, Tony. But the guys over at “brand” are doing it a lot better.”
“But I am social media, John.”
“Your stats are telling a very different story, Tony.”
Corporate budgets in digital are improving all the time. So should our ideas — too often we find ourselves repackaging international hands in local gloves. We have great minds. I have worked with and met many of them. Surely if we pulled together, we will wind up creating the ideas that are exported, making fireworks in the sky needs many people. People to create a cracker, people to set the cracker up and some fire.
Author | Dale Ferreira
Born barefoot in Boksburg and growing up in Welkom in the Free State, Dale has fought against all odds and managed to come out English. In 2011 he wanted to be involved in social media, and decided to reinvent and at 28 became the world’s oldest intern.... More