Dear Little Miss Social…

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Dear Little Miss Social

I confess to being genuinely at a loss when it comes to social media engagement in the form of liking other people’s posts. Should I be liking anything and everything from everybody, or just the ones I actually like from the people I know?

Yours Sincerely,
Sally Blackmoore
Perth, Australia

 

Dear Gentle Reader

Whether to publicly like another’s social media post – or not – is a vexing issue, and one which is fraught with misguided intent and endless misinterpretation. The modern ‘like’ is a spring-trap which lays in wait for the uninitiated and where the consequences of a misstep can be socially fatal. But adherence to a few simple and commonsense rules will see you through.

Whenever you like a post from someone within your inner-circle you are ipso facto liking the person who posted it. This is its most popular use and serves the purpose of social bonding between one’s peers. But if you are liking the post of someone from an outer-circle or that of a complete stranger, you are most certainly indicating approval of the post itself – and not the person who published it. In either case, by liking a post you are signalling that you have at least seen the post. It is the digital equivalent of making eye-contact across the madding crowd and tipping one’s hat. In some instances this may be the precursor to a blossoming online relationship.

On occasion you might be inclined to like a post because you genuinely do like it. This should be made manifestly clear with the inclusion of a supporting comment or contextually relevant emoji. Care must be taken however when liking the post of a person who is expressing heightened spiritual, cerebral or physical agitation – for example, a picture of their freshly stubbed toe. To like this without a supporting comment or empathetic emodji  would be considered very poor taste indeed.

Liking a shared post performs a dual action. You are both liking the person who shared the post, and liking the post of the person who originally published it. All parties generally understand this to be the case.

On receiving a like one should never overtly acknowledge it with another like or comment – it is unnecessary and often leads to awkwardness.

Liking the last several posts at once from someone should be avoided if possible, as the value of a like diminishes in direct proportion to the elapsed time since it was published. Conversely, liking a post within 5 minutes of its publication is a mark of social excellence which is generally reserved for one’s inner, inner-circle connections – your besties.

It is both unacceptable and churlish to ever unlike a post. The exception to this rule is if the like is withdrawn within 30 seconds of granting it, providing leeway for an inadvertent like which happens to us all on occasion.

From time to time we are obliged to discharge a debt or balance the social ledger when a person has liked your last several posts with scrupulous consistency and rapidity. But care must be taken here, as a perceived haste to repay one’s obligation is a kind of ingratitude of itself. Yes, such debts must be paid with reciprocated likes, but in instalments.

So as you can see Gentle Reader, a like is not always a like – although of course sometimes it is.

 



Amazing True Facts!

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100% crazy, 100% fun and 100% certified true!

Since 1997 there have been 28 recorded incidents of websites spontaneously combusting! Totally unexplained!

North Korea is close to launching its own private internet which will be powered entirely from potatoes! Whacky!

Google spelt backwards is ‘Elgoog’. Creepy, but true!

At the sub-atomic level a social media post can be on someone’s newsfeed and not on anyone’s newsfeed simultaneously! Quantum spookiness!

NASA research reveals that cat memes are remarkably persistent, even in zero-gravity environments! Watch out Mr. Astronaut!

The world’s smallest website weighs only 4.6 grams! Unbelievable!

The word Instagram originates from the German ‘instag gramute’ meaning goose fat. Weird huh!?

In the early days of social media people commonly believed that posting a selfie would take their soul away! LOL!

Most people don’t know that old Facebook posts can be stuffed into shoes to keep your feet warm in winter! Try it out!

Hashtags originally contained small amounts of hashish, hence the name! Don’t tell your parents! 🙂

5000 average-sized social media posts draw about the same amount of energy as does a single-bar eclectic heater. That’s a LOT of joules!

QR codes are still commonly traded in some African nations despite a 2009 international ban on their use. Not cool kids!

Lab rats repeatedly exposed to Richard Branson quotes will stop eating and eventually die. That’s toxic!

The word ‘hyperlink’ is actually two separate words put together: ‘hyper’ and ‘link’. Who would have guessed!?

With some basic at-home tinkering Google Analytics can also be used as a two-way radio. Chat long-distance with your friends!

Even today no-one knows how GIF’s actually work. Modern mystery!

Scientists believe they have isolated and can suppress the over-sharing gene in humans. Social media breakthrough!

 

 



Mellow Yellow

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The Australian Department of Education and Early Childhood have released a report for public discussion entitled Emoji – the New Language of Life. The key recommendation is for the social and business applications of emoji to be taught as formal topics in Australian schools through to year 12. Emoji are ideograms and smileys used in electronic messages and across many social media sites. They first gained popularity amongst Japanese schoolgirls during the late 1990’s as a counter-culture derivative hip-hop underground street-movement form of expression. The loose Japanese translation of emoji is ‘ears of puppy-dog’.

Dr. Jim Marin, Chair the Department of Education’s Committee on Emerging Things, is a vocal supporter of bringing emoji into the classroom, “They are the franca lingua of all electronic mediums. Australian children must not only learn the emoji building blocks of facial expressions, common objects, places, types of weather, flags and animals – but they must master the subtleties of the idiom. In Sweden for example there are 7 distinct emoji which express different qualities of snow. In Australia many children would struggle to use even the standard emoji snowflake in its correct context. If Australia as a nation wants to compete internationally we must teach our people 21st century skills and competencies – we should be investing heavily in all five STEME disciplines: science, technology, engineering, math and emoji.

“And we need to start early. By the time most Scandinavian children enter school they are already conversant with over 250 different emoji, including animated variants. Is it any surprise that Ikea now provide alternate assembly instructions for their products fully in emoji, and many people find them easier to follow?”

But the Department of Education’s report is not without its critics. Professor Peter Standage, Head of Linguistics at the University of Melbourne is damning in his appraisal of emoji, “They dumb down our collective emotional repertoire and hamper meaningful communication at all levels of society. Whenever I see an emoji within an email or text I despair… are we losing the fine art of nuanced communication? There are also Orwellian overtones – how can we possibly engage in open political debate concerning the important issues of the day if the voice of the people has been reduced to a yellow facial expression? I don’t support the use of emoji in any context whatsoever – they give me a sad face… a big old-fashioned one.”

 

advisory



When email newsletters go bad…

Hi [insert first name]

Well there’s no doubt about it, [insert current season] has arrived and [insert next yearly milestone] is almost upon us! Where does the time go!?

We’ve been super-busy here at [insert organisation name] – there’s certainly no rest for the wicked! [insert smiley emoticon].

We had a great time at the recent [insert event name] – if you couldn’t make it along maybe we’ll see you at our next one!

The latest news from us: we’re super-proud to have been [insert self-congratulation #1] and also to have achieved [insert self-congratulation #2]. We also got a nice wrap from [insert media outlet name] – you can read the full article [insert hyperlink] here.

And don’t forget [insert first name], we’ve still got plenty of [insert sales pitch]. After all, you can never own too many! So give call us today, we’d love to hear from you!

And here’s a little something we just couldn’t resist! [insert baby rhinoceros meme]. How cute!

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So that’s it from us – see you all next time!

Cheers,
From the whole team at [insert organisation name]!!

p.s. don’t forget to Like us on [insert social media platform name]!

 



Why the fish?

So here’s the thing…

Fish is Fun

Unbutton the brand and have some fun with social media. Snapper and I know how to have a laugh.

Fish is Fresh

Different. Unusual. Made you look.

Fish is Filter

Uncomfortable with the fish? You’re probably not ready for a net101 course (or social media).

Fish is Food

Give a man a fish and he feeds for a day. Teach a man to fish…

Fish is Fiction

There’s a story to be told. Unusual stories stick.

Fish is Freudian?

No, sometimes a fish is just a fish.

 



Social Media and a Message from The Man


The Man at NET:101 got a message for you, so listen up good, let it be understood.

So here it come, here it is, social media is serious biz, but it’s the brothers and the sistas that make it fly, not the rap of some suited up sales guy.

Don’t sell, don’t shrill, they won’t take that pill.

Time to connect if you want their respect. Add value to their pot, doesn’t have to be a lot. Use your content to make them want.

Show them, teach them, inform them, guide them, make them feel you know what it’s like to be standing beside them.

Use your content in some clever ways, invest your time so it pays. Cos it ain’t about the likes and the number of fans, it’s about brand credibility in the minds of your clan.

Sales is good, but don’t chase too fast, infect your pool with them sales blasts. You ain’t no fool you know the cool – it’s why you did so well in school.

So listen to The Man from NET:101, he got the message to make it all hum, hum, hum.



The 4 Rungs of Social Media Adoption

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When I worked in the wine industry many moons ago we had certain classes of wines that were commonly referred to as ‘ladder wines’. These were grape varieties or styles that an individual would typically start enjoying as part of their wine journey – for most people it would stat with a sweet white such as a Spatlese Lexia. As a person’s palate matured they would move up a predicable ladder of taste sophistication to dryer whites, onto sweeter fruit-driven reds, and finally across to fuller-bodied, savoury reds.

A similar step-process plays out for organisations when it comes to the adoption (or non-adoption) of social media. These are the 4 commonly observable rungs.

Rung 1: Social Media, Unconvinced

All business professionals are ‘aware’ of social media at some level – they might use Facebook themselves to keep in touch with family, or observe their children engaging on any number of other platforms. But they are unconvinced it could ever deliver much in the way of business value. They can see other organisations who are active in the space but regard their own industry-sector as different – “It’s not relevant to what we do…”. It’s typically seen as an unwelcome distraction from the real business of business.

Rung 2: Social Media Experimental

Give it a go. The first tentative, experimental steps into social media are likely a Facebook page, a blog (as part of a new website build) and maybe a couple of YouTube videos. Most likely the blog will flounder in the first few months – it’s a bigger task than most people imagine to produce long-form text on a regular basis. The YouTube videos will sit out there and rack up a few views without doing any harm. Facebook will get the lion’s share of attention, after all it seems easy enough to push out a few product pics and announce the date of an upcoming clearance sale. The social media success measures at this experimental stage will likely be the public scoreboard of fan or follower numbers, rather than definable business goals.

Back to Rung 1: Social Media, Now Doubly Unconvinced

The initial push into social media loses momentum – the input required to maintain an active presence starts competing with other day-to-day demands. The lack of a visible business return is rightly being questioned. Maybe the person who first drove the entry into social media leaves, or the business just doesn’t want to keep paying an external agency or consultant for what now seems like a one-way flow of money (despite the accumulation of fans and followers). The organisation walks away form their social media, stepping back down onto the first rung.

Up to Rung 3: Social Media Glimmer of Hope

Something seems to be working… it could be as small as an inbound sales lead citing the organisation’s blog. Or referral traffic to the website is up and so are online enquiries. That fluid hydraulics video we posted on YouTube is now sitting at over 3000 views – people really seem interested in our stuff. And a small but highly engaged community has started hanging out on our Facebook business page… climb a rung.

Rung 4: Business as Usual

The question regarding social media shifts from ‘should we be doing it?’ to ‘how can we be doing it better?” Extra resources are typically allocated at this stage – a new part-time or full-time social media position might be created. A formal social media strategy is formulated with clear-cut objectives and measurable outcomes over extended timeframes.  A social media policy is codified. Quality content production becomes a priority. Other departments around the organisation are encouraged to get involved, to share in writing the blog, to answer technical questions, and to help the social media effort generally by sharing their expertise outside of their departmental silos.

Eventually the organisation ceases to refer to themselves as ‘doing social media’ anymore – the platforms, the content and the community become integrated into the organisation’s marketing, sales, customer service and communications mix to the point of invisibility. it’s now just business as usual.