I love this quote my Samuel Johnson which seems more appropriate than ever, now we live in the Google age.
In a moment of insanity in the office today we were thinking if you have #FollowFriday on Twitter why not have #UnfollowMonday? From Blue Monday to I Don’t Like Mondays, the day has a bad reputation, so why not use the time to weed out the lurkers and spam in your Twitter ‘following’ folder. It will be cathartic, Mondays may even look better; think about it.
You could even do it in haku, for example:
#UnfollowMonday I don’t like Mondays, they make me feel blue, I don’t like your twitter, adieu to you @spam_account @boring_brand etc etc
My former colleague Salim (co-founder of Wahanda, a kind of Last Minute for health and wellness) is known for rocking up at the glittering events. He posted some pictures from the fifth annual Raisa Gorbachev Foundation fundraising event.
He posted this picture which showed a smartcard as an invite, so I asked him more about it: what did it do, what was its functionality?
There were card readers on the table, and for the silent auctions and also other elements of the auction, you plugged the card into the reader, chose the Lot number and entered a bid or donation.
Very advanced technology. During live donations, there was a board that calculated the amount pledged in real time.
James Warren talked about the golden rule for online PR / social media strategy as be nice. Being nice however will only get you so far. Lots of us know people who are annoying because they are nice but ineffective and social media is kind of similar.
My heart used to sink a little every time account staff or clients used come out with ‘we want a viral video’ when what they meant was that they wanted a sales video and hoped that I could sprinkle some magic social media pixie dust on it, turning it into a Youtube hit. Every time I look in my desk drawer I am reminded of the fact that I am clean out of pixie dust; in fact I never had any in the first place – it may not even exist!
What they missed was the second set of two words that added to be nice make up a successful digital strategy: be useful. What do I mean by be useful?
- Is the content informative to a member of the general public (who doesn’t work for your organisation)?
- If I were a member of the general public, would I feel that this content is selling something to me? (No is the answer that we’re looking for here, leave that at the door with the gentleman selling the Kirby cleaner)
- Is the content entertaining (be ruthless on this one)?
- Will the content save consumer time? A classic example of this would be the Kraft Food iPhone recipe application
- Is the context rigtht: is the consumer likely to see it in the right place and at the right time for them? You may have a lot Christmas decorations you want people on the Internet to purchase, but it may not be the right place (are them expanding foil decorations an impulse purchase or do we compare prices and specifications on them?) and just after Easter definitely isn’t the right time
- Will the average person feel that their life has been enriched by your content? (As a bit of guidance on this one: Barry Scott adverts for Cillit Bang do not count as enrichment)
There you have it: be nice, be useful.
During the 1980s with the rise of the video cassette recorder (VCR), the reduction in costs of the devices due to the VHS vs. Beta war and an uncertain economic climate consumers started to stay at home in what was later called cocooning. The internet extended this as a trend as community interaction increasingly happens online. Local is wherever you meet your friends and community are those fellow travelers that share the same interests as you be it in the real-world, particularly at work, or online through various social software services.
I have noticed on the tube how the isolation of cocooning has been extended through smartphones and personal media players like an iPod or iPhone to previously public places. My colleagues use the iconic earphones to screen themselves off from each other, even in the most open plan of office environments. During my commute to work the flow of people around me going through the turnstiles is disrupted as earphone equipped wander through as in a trance with disregard to the crowd around them. It’s not because they’ve all turned into type-A personalities, but that they are unaware of their immediate surroundings. This is about building a private world in even the smallest of personal spaces, what I think of as ‘micro-cocooning’.
Music players that can keep going for a whole working day, inner ear headphones and overear noise reduction headsets that don’t ‘fizz’, have helped facilitate this boom.
From a media and marketing point-of-view this is also a great opportunity to get content in front of these consumers at a time when they can immerse themselves in it. Applications on your phone don’t require real-time internet connectivity, if you have all the content that you want to provide pre-cached on the device making it ideal for rail commutes with dodgy phone signals.
How would you target the micro-cocooners?