When you talk about communication in a social media space, the conversations tend to shift toward social media. Even when they do, I always try to remind fellow professionals, friends, and students that social media topics often have lessons that transcend online communication. Replace the nouns and most posts are about communication.
That's what you'll find in this week's lineup of Fresh Content picks. The context might be mostly social media, but the lessons are embedded in communication. Take Jason Falls's post as a prime example. Before social media bubbles, there were people who would invest half of their day in professional organizations and feel pretty good about their illusionary places of power as industry leaders. There is nothing wrong with that, unless you want clients too.
Best Fresh Content In Review, Week of July 12
• Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone, Or Else.
Jason Falls offers up a hard reminder why working too much or too long inside the social media bubble can dampen potential. With social media experts constantly talking to themselves and praising each other's ideas, there's still the rest of the world that doesn't know much about social media or communication. He then shares two encounters to illustrate his point. The greater majority don't follow the rules that communicators have erected and some never will.
• A Cupful of Wisdom.
Finding an analogy between social media and the World Cup, Ike Pigott points out the obvious. There is a tendency for social media pros to game their stats but never score a goal. Sure, all those blind follows look good on spreadsheets much like being the shots-on-goal leader. But unless there is a conversation that leads to something tangible, your communication metrics aren't much more than the sound and fury, signifying nothing.
• Social Media is the Servant of Strategy, Not the Master.
Writing a guest post for Jay Baer, Mike Cassidy shares his insights into why he sometimes feels that social media pros place too much emphasis on allowing the cart to drive the horse. He has a point. Embracing social media doesn't have to mean organizational change as much as it changes the organization. The difference might be subtle, but it's an important one. Social media can do an organization good, but not at the expense of a vibrant internal community.
• The Internet Is A Kennel.
Ike Pigott explores minion behavior that sometimes occurs within the organizational structures that develop within social media. The minion's reward for following a chosen one is quite clear. In exchange for social servitude, minions receive attention, transference, respect, and a sense of belonging. And when the chosen one is attacked, the minions band together to assault the so-called attacker, even if there wasn't much of an attack to speak of.
• The Million Dollar Pickle.
Communicators tend to be great storytellers, but that doesn't mean all stories are successful. Sometimes the stories we tell are memorable, but no one remembers the teller. It happens all the time in advertising, with one of my favorite examples being the company that ran a dazzling spot on cat herding. One week later, everyone remembered the commercial. No one remembered the company. Roger Dooley's pickle story is just as powerful.