Questions to be answered on social media

Presenting has a lot to do with theatre. Except you don’t have a script – just pointers to key messages that you hope will connect, challenge, inspire, trigger. And the audience is not just a passive recipient – especially when it comes to social media. Each performance is different; each audience has a different insight. Hopefully, by the end of the session, both the speaker and the ‘presented to’ have learnt something new.

The Q&A at the end of a presentation to the local Chamber of Commerce, and a couple of subsequent emails from participants, threw up some interesting points which gave me food for thought.

These questions stood out:

1. Will Facebook continue to rule the roost, when there are so many worries that the company is meddling with our privacy? Isn’t trust in the entire ecosystem being undermined by Facebook constantly changing the rules of engagement?

2. How can social media tackle the marketing of unpalatable products, like cigarettes for instance?

3. There are plenty of examples of large companies using social media, and even they were making slip ups. How can an average SME learn from these mistakes? Say, a firm in the incoming tourism sector, or an exporter of a local product?

4. How can teens and kids get educated on the opportunities and hazards of social media engagement? Particularly in the case of young people who will soon have to get on the career ladder? Is there such a thing as social media or mobile device etiquette, in the way that we developed email and other netiquette?

I’ll try and address these issues in future posts.

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2 Responses to Questions to be answered on social media

  1. david says:

    Another important issue raised (not by me) is the fact that teenagers and youths may not want to be on the same social media platform shared by their parents and grandparents. 16-year-olds cannot exactly block their guardians from their Facebook profile. Sooner or later they’re bound to move on to another ‘alternative’ platform, away from the grown ups. Same applies to adults – will employees be ready to share their private lives with their bosses/colleagues? When that Friend Request from your boss appears, will we feel comfortable pressing ‘Ignore’? One option may be to accept the request, keep your ‘public’ life on Facebook and move your ‘private’ online life elsewhere – but where?

    • Excellent questions, David. I guess MySpace has morphed into the network for musicians as a way of surviving. It may well be that the lacuna you have identified will be an opportunity for another social network to target some other identifiable segment. The thing is that it is not in any network’s interests to close its doors and shut out new members – because crowd-sourcing leads to more user-generated content which leads to traffic, PPC, advertising et al that keep the current economic model going. Unless the model changes drastically, that is – and people are prepared to pay to keep their own kind inside a community, and others outside. Then again, that was the model for Ning… and Ning is finding life difficult, right now.

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