Last year I concentrated on all things social media, which enabled me to help many of my hospitality clients with workshops and starter programmes for staff.
I love the world of social media and get particularly excited about how businesses can integrate this effectively into their overall marketing strategy. I do, however, continue to be mystified by the extraordinary range of things that people blog about, and what on earth motivates them to do it.
People’s approaches to online vary hugely.
1. The Fanatics
They are obsessive both in their frequency and detail of subject matter, and in some cases may even have lost many of their conventional social skills. As such, they are effectively relying on social media as their window to the world.
2. The Detractors
They remain uninvolved in social media, although the extent of debate about it in all walks of life means that they have to pretend to know at least something. The generous ones are self-deprecating and claim they are Luddites, while the more dismissive find holes in its value, typically citing the dangers of stalkers on Facebook.
3. The GINGIs
These are what I call the Got It Not Got It proportion of social media users. They are using it, but for reasons that are not always apparent or helpful to their friends or colleagues.
For example, in the case of a GINGI, I might well know through their social announcements on Twitter or Facebook that they voted for Jedward in X Factor, that they had tuna and sweetcorn for lunch, or that they are a fan of Marmite, but in truth I have no idea of how they really are. So I’ll pick up the phone and chat. In this respect, I do wonder whether the medium is being used correctly.
A GINGI in business may be bombarding their new-found online audience with promotional wibble, without recognizing the importance of engaging and actually conversing with potential new customers.
This is a tricky area. Ignoring any snobbery about the ‘correct’ way to use a medium, I do feel that people and businesses could think harder about why, when and how they use social media. In social situations, some people talk more than others. And I believe it should be OK to do that online too (without upsetting the fanatics).
I think that all individuals and businesses should be establishing their own pattern of interaction, and would do well to enact a social media strategy based on the simple mantra of My Style, My Frequency.